It’s nerve-wracking to undergo a medical procedure you’re not familiar with.   daVinci robotic hysterectomy is one of several types of hysterectomies. It’s typically much less painful than an abdominal surgery for removing the uterus. However, you may still experience side effects or complications.

daVinci robotic hysterectomy side effects are rare, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen to you. It’s still important to be prepared and aware of what the possible daVinci robotic hysterectomy side effects are. This will allow you to catch problems sooner if they occur after the surgery. Below we have elaborated on what daVinci robotic hysterectomy is, what to expect, and what its risks are.

What Is daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy?

daVinci robotic hysterectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that removes the uterus through small abdominal incisions with the assistance of robotic computerized instrument.  This is one type of hysterectomy.  The other types of hysterectomies are vaginal, laparoscopic supracervical, laparoscopically assisted vaginal, and abdominal.   A hysterectomy removes the uterus, and the is used to treat benign conditions as well as cancerous conditions.

The daVinci system provides surgeons with a magnified 3D HD view inside your body.  Some of the major benefits include better precision and control with this robotic-assisted surgical device. The wristed instruments can bend and twist farther than human hands can. It allows surgeons to perform precise tiny movements that aren’t possible with human hands utilizing intruments that are as small as the tip of a pencil.  The instruments and the surgeons hand controls communicate through electronic signals over 1000 times ever second.  This eliminates any time lag from when the surgeon moves his/her wrist to the instruments inside the patient moving exactly the same way and at the same exact time.

To perform a daVinci robotic hysterectomy, three to four tiny 8mm incisions are made near the patient’s belly button. Then, a laparoscope and other surgical instruments are inserted in your abdomen via different incisions. During a daVinci robotic hysterectomy, the surgeon sits at a control center located a few feet away from the operating table.

Using the small grips at the control center, the surgeon guides the surgical instruments throughout operation. The controls remove any shakiness from the surgeons hands for patient safety and precision. Depending on whether the patient has a supracervical or traditional hysterectomy the surgeon will remove the uterus through one of the small incisions or it may be taken out through the vagina.

Who Needs a daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy?

Health problems that can be treated with a daVinci hysterectomy include gynecological cancer, fibroid tumors, uterine or vaginal prolapse, severe endometriosis, and heavy uterine bleeding.  Fibroid tumors and cancer sometimes causes the uterus to enlarge. This can make it impossible to perform a vaginal hysterectomy.  Before the daVinci system in these cases, a woman would have had to be cut open with a large painful abdominal incision.  Now with the daVinci robotic system, even those cases can be done with tiny incisions.  The important thing to remember is that almost no one needs to be cut open with a large painful incision anymore because the daVinci system is available everywhere.

Gynecological cancer is uncontrolled abnormal cell growth in a woman’s reproductive organs. Some types of gynecological cancer include ovarian, cervical, vulvar, uterine, and vaginal. A daVinci hysterectomy is one of the current treatments to remove this type of cancer.

Fibroid tumors are noncancerous growths that can cause pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and longer periods. When medications don’t work to treat the fibroids, your doctor may recommend a myomectomy to remove only the fibroids or possibly a hysterectomy to remove them and the uterus.  Uterine prolapse is a condition in which the uterus protrudes out of the vagina. Mild cases usually don’t need treatment. Moderate to severe uterine prolapse can be so uncomfortable that treatment is needed.  Many times a daVinci prolapse surgery includes a hysterectomy in addition to correcting the prolapse.

daVinci Robotic Hysterectomy Side Effects

daVinci robotic hysterectomy side effects are much less than abdominal hysterectomies.  The side effects are similar to regular  laparoscopic hysterectomies.  It has a lower risk of wound infection, less scarring, and faster recovery. Some women are able to return to work a week after undergoing the procedure. However, it still has some possible side effects one should know about.

Vaginal Cuff Dehiscence

Also called separation of the vaginal incision, this complication is rare but serious and must be treated. It can be prevented by treating vaginal infections and STDs before the hysterectomy.  Other ways of preventing vaginal cuff dehiscence are to avoid intercourse for 6-8 weeks after the hysterectomy and very heavy lifting, >40 lbs for 4-6 weeks after surgery.  Risk factors for vaginal cuff dehiscence include smoking, corticosteroid use, poor nutrition, cuff cellulitis, and severe vaginal thinning from menopause.

Urinary Tract Injury

Injury to the urinary tract can occur as a result of daVinci robotic hysterectomy. This can lead to the more serious problem of kidney failure.  Rarely the ureters, the tubes between the kidney and bladder, can get injured during surgery.  Although this is much more common with abdominal hysterectomies, it is still important to immediately have a urinary tract injury evaluated if you are having post operative symptoms of difficulty urinating, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain or bleeding when urinating.

Blocked Lung Artery

One may be wondering how blocked lung arteries are possible daVinci robotic hysterectomy side effects.  This risk actually can occur in any surgery, but is important enough to mention.  A blood clot can travel to the lung, resulting in a blocked lung artery. This is a serious condition that can damage your lung due to cut off blood flow to lung tissue.  It can result in chest pain, short of breath, unconsciousness, and even sudden death.  The good news is almost all surgeries already take precautions to prevent this during your surgery.

Hernia

Patients who undergo daVinci robotic hysterectomy may have a slight risk of developing a hernia at the incision site. A hernia is a bulging of tissue or an organ through an abnormal opening.  This is uncommon because of the small size of the incisions, but some experts report this about 1-2% of cases.  Sometimes an outpatient surgery is necessary to fix it.  Common symptoms of a hernia are swelling, pain, and a noticeable bulge at the incision site.

Infection

All types of surgery carry the risk of infection with them. To prevent infection after daVinci robotic hysterectomy, keep the incision sites clean with soap and water and then dry during while they heal.   Smokers are more likely to suffer from an infection after the hysterectomy.  Your surgeon may use a type of waterproof medical super glue to seal the incision for several weeks to prevent infection as well.

Summing Up

Although this type of hysterectomy is relatively safe and has the fastest recovery, you should know the risks before committing to the procedure. Always discuss potential complications and important recovery information with your doctor.

If you’ve had this procedure done before, did you experience any of the daVinci robotic hysterectomy side effects?

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