Intuitive Surgical is an American company that is in the business of manufacturing robotic surgical systems. Their most notable system is the daVinci Surgical System which is used worldwide and which allows surgeons to do surgeries with the help of a robotic laparoscopic system. There are many types of surgeries that Intuitive Surgical approaches through their surgical systems. One of the most important categories are the gynecologic ones. In today’s article, we’re going to explain how Intuitive Surgical can help you with gynecological conditions.

Intuitive Surgical and Gynecology: A Complete Guide

What Are the Types of Conditions and Surgeries It Deals with?

Before getting into the details of every specific surgery Intuitive Surgical can help you with, we thought we’d provide a brief overlook of the conditions that should prompt you to consider their robotic surgical system. If your quality of life and general health is affected by conditions such as heavy bleeding, abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, fibroids, pelvic prolapse, or even cancer, you should know Intuitive Surgical can help you heal and feel good again.

Even if some gynecological symptoms can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, and other non-surgical options, sometimes, the only viable option is surgery, especially when the symptoms won’t go away. There are two major types of surgeries that generally take care of gynecological issues. The first one is open surgery that requires a large incision and a long time to recuperate from. The second one is less invasive, and this is the one provided by Intuitive Surgical’s robotic surgical system. This is called the laparoscopic daVinci Surgery and it only requires a couple of small incisions or a single belly button incision in some cases.

Given the differences between the two types of surgeries mentioned above, it’s not difficult to understand why more and more women are choosing the daVinci Surgery as opposed to the more traditional open surgery.

What Are the Gynecologic Robotic Procedures Available?

1. Hysterectomy (Benign)

The first gynecologic procedure you can get with Intuitive Surgical’s daVinci System is a hysterectomy. There’s more than one type of hysterectomy surgery you can get, according to whether the condition you have is benign or not. If it’s benign, your doctor will probably suggest surgery.  A common possibility is a hysterectomy.  A hysterectomy removes a woman’s uterus and, as most surgeries, can be done either through the traditional open incision or with the more advanced daVinci robotic surgical system.  When considering a hysterectomy a third and fourth type of hysterectomy may be recommended as well, a vaginal hysterectomy and a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy.

With the robotic system offered by Intuitive Surgical, the surgeon has complete control over the daVinci robotic system, gets a 3D HD view of the inside of your body, rotates the small 2-4 mm instruments many more degrees than a human hand can, and works with enhanced precision through 10 x magnified, virtual reality type eyepieces.  This leads to a lower complication rate, much less pain, minimal blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, and less chance of the surgeon having to switch to an open surgery.

As with any other type of surgery, complications can still occur.  Complications with one of the minimally invasive methods above are much less compared to open surgery and the daVinci system technology allows the surgeon to minimize bleeding, by using exact precision when sealing blood vessels before cutting them.  The daVinci system minimizes the amount of pain patients feel and many patients state their uterine cramps and menses were tremendously more painful than the entire surgery.

2. Single-Site Hysterectomy (Benign)

The other type of benign hysterectomy Intuitive Surgical offers is a single-site one. This daVinci Single-Site option refers to the fact that there will be only one incision made, more precisely one through the bellybutton. This surgery takes things one step further than the normal hysterectomy surgery done with the daVinci system (which requires 3 -4 incisions). Naturally, the surgery is less invasive and leaves the patients with almost no scar whatsoever. This hysterectomy too is only done for benign conditions and a normal sized uterus.

daVinci’s Single-Site surgery is used for more than just gynecologic procedures. It’s also used for gallbladder removal and ovary removal, but, under benign conditions. In order to consider this option, you must talk to your doctor to find a daVinci Single-Site trained surgeon since not all daVinci surgeons are trained in the Single-Site method and your uterus should be a fairly normal size as well.

3. Hysterectomy (Cancer)

The third type of hysterectomy you can get is one targeted to people who just found out they have cancer.  Fortunately, the results with the robotic surgical system provided by Intuitive Surgical are much more promising than the ones with a traditional open surgery.  As we’ve already mentioned, there’s less bleeding, a speedier recovery, fewer complications, and an ability to remove the cancer with more precision.  The special Firely flourescence magnified HD camera allows the surgeon to tell the difference between cancer and non-cancerous tissues when removing the cancerous tissues.

4. Endometriosis Resection

If you’re suffering from mild or severe pain due to the growth of the tissues lining the inside of your uterus on outside of the uterus and pelvic tissues (endometriosis), the doctor might suggest surgery. There are plenty of benefits of having a daVinci Endometriosis Resection Surgery. For example, due to the precision of the machine, the surgeon can separate the unwanted tissue more easily, even if it’s in difficult positions. Moreover, the incision done is extremely small, which lowers the rate of having to switch to open surgery. You won’t lose a lot of blood either, which means you probably won’t need a blood transfusion, and the risk of complications decreases as well.  The daVinci technology allows the surgeon to not only remove the surface endometriosis, but also to precisely remove the deeper endometriosis, the “roots”, as well.  This leads to better results, less pain, a longer symptom free interval, and improved fertility.

5. Myomectomy (Fibroid Removal)

Myomectomy is the surgery that removes fibroids. Unlike a hysterectomy, a myomectomy doesn’t involve the removal of a woman’s uterus. The surgeon simply removes the fibroids so the uterus can heal and become normal again.  There are many reasons to consider a daVinci Myomectomy, for instance, if you want to keep your uterus, and especially if you want to have children in the future.    There are many benefits of this type of robotic myomectomy such as much less pain, less bleeding, same day or overnight hospital stay, and a quick healing time to get you back to normal or work.

illustration of the types of fibroids
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6. Sacrocolpopexy (Pelvic Prolapse Surgery)

The last type of surgery you can get with the daVinci robotic surgical system offered by Intuitive Surgical is a sacrocolpopexy (for pelvic prolapse).  Pelvic prolapse occurs when your uterus, your vagina, or another pelvic organ slips out of its usual position and drops lower in the pelvis and vagina than it used to be earlier in your life. Surgery can correct this prolapse.  The daVinci sacrocolpopexy is the gold standard surgery for prolapse and has the best short and long term success rates.  However, it may not be the first treatment your doctor will recommend for prolapse since there are a couple of nonsurgical treatments that should be considered first.  The surgeon attaches an intra-abdominal polypropylene mesh that lifts the prolapse back in place and patients can feel a significant difference as soon as they are in the recovery room. The daVinci sacrocolpopexy allows you to get back to your life faster. This will provide your pelvis, vagina, and bladder with long-term support.

Summing Everything Up

Intuitive Surgical offers a relatively large variety of gynecologic surgeries that can be done better, and with less pain, bleeding, or complications due to their robotic surgical system. If you’ve been struggling with one of the conditions above, you shouldn’t hesitate to discuss this option with your physician.

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