By Jeffery D. Morrison, DO, FACOG
In today’s highly active society, patients have fewer opportunities for downtime when recovering from surgery. As a result, surgeons are taking on the greater responsibility of offering minimally invasive surgical techniques (MIS) to their patients. As the need for MIS increases, surgeons are turning to robotic-assisted surgical platforms, such as the da Vinci Surgical System, as a means to complete complex procedures without making large open incisions.
The da Vinci Surgical System has been utilized in over 6,000,000 procedures and a large portion of that has been in GYN hysterectomy. Da Vinci gynecologic procedures include hysterectomies for benign conditions, hysterectomies for cancer, pelvic organ prolapse surgery, myomectomy, and endometriosis resection. Patients undergoing these minimally invasive surgeries often experience quicker recovery, less post-operative pain, and fewer complications than laparoscopic and open surgical techniques.
The da Vinci Surgical System was launched in 1999 as the first robotic surgical system to receive clearance by the FDA to be used in laparoscopic surgery. Since the 1999 launch, four generations of da Vinci Surgical Systems have been launched, including the da Vinci SI, the da Vinci X, the da Vinci XI, and the da Vinci SP¹. Each system consists of three components: the surgeon console, the patient cart, and the vision cart.
The surgical console is where surgeons sit, place their arms in wristed instruments, and begin the procedure with small incisions. This instrument translates the surgeons’ hand, wrist, and finger movements exceeding the normal range of motion. The surgical team can view this entire process using the vision cart. Wristed articulations allow surgeons to suture tissue inside of the abdomen, which is challenging laparoscopically and often requires an open incision without robotics. With the HD, 3D view provided by the patient cart, surgeons have access to tight spaces in the abdomen that cannot be accessed laparoscopically and perform fine dissection without an open incision. Because da Vinci robotics reduces the need to complete procedures with an open incision, patients can return home sooner with less pain and quicker recoveries.
In conventional laparoscopy, surgeons often experience extreme muscle soreness and fatigue due to long days spent in the operating room. With the opportunity to complete minimally invasive, complex surgeries while comfortably seated at the robotic console, surgeons can now provide each patient the same amount of focus and care. Surgeons are striving to improve patient outcomes and technology in the operating room and that is made possible by incorporating robotic-assisted surgery into their practice. The precision, fine dissection, and improved visualization with da Vinci Surgical System is allowing surgeons to comfortably and confidently push the limits.
Jeffery D. Morrison, DO, FACOG, is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). He currently practices at TPMG Obstetrics and Gynecology. mytpmg.com