Raj K. Syal, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Jenna A. Everson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.    |    Holly Westmoreland, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.   

Development of da Vinci® Robot Surgery

da Vinci Robot Technology

In gynecology, da Vinci® robot surgery is utilized for conditions requiring hysterectomy, myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids) and pelvic prolapse. If you need surgery, I would encourage you to become educated on the benefits of robotic surgery.

The da Vinci® robot is a new innovative tool that gives a surgeon improved visualization and control during complex surgeries. During some gynecologic procedures surgeons performing da Vinci® robot surgery are able to access the target anatomy using a vaginal approach, which may not require an external incision. But for complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures, robot-assisted surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Through tiny, 1-2 cm incisions, surgeons using this phenomenal robotic surgery system can operate with greater precision and control using the magnified high definition 3D image. At the same time, state-of-the-art robotic and computer technologies scale, filter and seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand movements into precise micro-movements of the da Vinci® instruments. This will minimize the pain and risk associated with large incisions while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes.

In our Woodlands OBGYN practice, da Vinci® robot surgery is done to perform the following procedures:

  • Hysterectomy
  • Myomectomy (Removal of Uterine Fibroids)
  • Complex Removal of Endometriosis
  • Ovarian Tumors
  • Sacrocolpopexy (Vaginal Suspension for Prolapse)

Below are 2 short videos demonstrating the finesse and control given to the surgeon by the da Vinci system.

Frequently Asked Questions about da Vinci Surgery

What are the benefits of da vinci robot surgery compared with traditional methods of surgery?

Some of the major benefits experienced by surgeons using this surgical technique over traditional approaches have been greater surgical precision, increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. Benefits experienced by patients may include a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less blood loss, fewer transfusions, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal daily activities. None of these benefits can be guaranteed, as surgery is necessarily both patient- and procedure-specific.

Where is the da Vinci® robot surgery currently being used?

Currently, da Vinci® robot surgery is being used in hundreds of locations worldwide, in major centers in the United States, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia and Turkey.

Has the da Vinci Surgical System been cleared by the FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the da vinci Surgical System for a wide range of procedures.

Will the da Vinci Surgical System make the surgeon unnecessary?

On the contrary, the da vinci System enables surgeons to be more precise, advancing their technique and enhancing their capability in performing complex minimally invasive surgery. The System replicates the surgeon’s movements in real time. It cannot be programmed, nor can it make decisions on its own to move in any way or perform any type of surgical maneuver without the surgeon’s input.

Is a surgeon using the da Vinci Surgical System operating in “virtual reality”?

Although seated at a console a few feet away from the patient, the surgeon views an actual image of the surgical field while operating in real-time, through tiny incisions, using miniaturized, wristed instruments. At no time does the surgeon see a virtual image or program/command the system to perform any maneuver on its own/outside of the surgeon’s direct, real-time control.

What procedures have been performed using the da Vinci Surgical System? What additional procedures are possible?

The system is a robotic surgical platform designed to enable complex procedures of all types to be performed through 1-2 cm incisions or operating “ports.” To date, tens of thousands of procedures including general, urologic, gynecologic, and cardiovascular procedures have been performed using the da Vinci Surgical System.