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da Vinci Hysterectomy

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Until recently, surgery for most gynecologic conditions was performed using a large abdominal incision. This is because while conventional laparoscopic surgery is effective for many routine procedures, the long-handled, rigid instruments used in laparoscopy are not usually considered effective for delicate or complex operations.

Fortunately, there is a minimally invasive option for treating gynecologic conditions designed to overcome the limits of traditional open and laparoscopic surgery – da Vinci Surgery.

If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy to treat your condition, you may be a candidate for da Vinci Surgery. Using state-of-the-art technology, a da Vinci® Hysterectomy requires only a few tiny incisions, so you can get back to your life faster.

The da Vinci System enables your doctor to perform a minimally invasive hysterectomy even for complex conditions — with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. da Vinci Hysterectomy offers women many potential benefits over traditional surgery, including:

  • Less pain (1)
  • Fewer complications (2)
  • Less blood loss (3,4)
  • Low risk of wound infection (5)
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal activities (6)

For Benign Conditions

Many benign (non-cancerous) conditions can affect a woman’s reproductive system to the extent where a hysterectomy is advised. Doctors often recommend hysterectomy when medication or lifestyle changes do not provide a cure or ease your symptoms.

The most common surgery to treat gynecologic conditions such as heavy bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis and pelvic prolapse is a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus. In fact, 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will have a hysterectomy before she turns sixty.(7) While this figure is lower in many other parts of the world, hysterectomy is still a common procedure worldwide.

Nowadays, many women avoid the large incision and 4-6 week (8) recovery that come with traditional open hysterectomy by choosing minimally invasive surgery. Standard laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive, but the long-handled, rigid instruments can be challenging for surgeons in more delicate or complex operations.

For Early Stage Cancer

The Condition: Early Stage Gynecologic Cancer

A wide variety of cancers can affect a woman's reproductive system, which includes the uterus, vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ, about the size of a fist, which holds a baby during pregnancy. The fallopian tubes and ovaries are located on either side of the uterus.

The most common types of gynecologic cancers are cervical, endometrial or uterine, and ovarian cancer. The specific type of cancer a woman has and how advanced it is determines her treatment options. Women with early stage gynecologic cancer are often treated with hysterectomy - the surgical removal of the uterus. Your doctor may also need to remove your ovaries, fallopian tubes and/or select lymph nodes.

The Treatment: Hysterectomy

If you have a gynecologic cancer, hysterectomy may be your best treatment option. The type of hysterectomy you have will depend on your medical history, health and the extent or stage of the cancer.

Traditionally, hysterectomies for cancer have long been performed using open abdominal surgery. This type of surgery requires a long incision from the pubic bone to just above the navel. An open abdominal hysterectomy can be painful, involve heavy medication, risk of infection, significant blood loss and a long recovery. Unfortunately, recovery time may also overlap with a secondary treatment – usually radiation or chemotherapy.

Instead of using traditional open surgery, many gynecologic oncologists can now treat cancers minimally invasively - without a large incision or long recovery. Traditional laparoscopic surgery uses small incisions and is effective for many routine procedures. However, the long-handled, manually operated and, rigid instruments used for laparoscopy are not considered effective for more delicate or complex operations.

Treatment Comparisons

da Vinci® vs. Open and Laparoscopic Surgery

da Vinci Hysterectomy offers women many potential benefits over traditional surgery, including:

  • Less pain (1)
  • Fewer complications (2)
  • Less blood loss (3,4)
  • Shorter hospital stay (4)
  • Low risk of wound infection (5)
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal activities (6)

As shown below, research looking at hysterectomy outcomes for benign (non-cancerous) conditions using two methods — da Vinci Surgery and traditional laparoscopic surgery — found that da Vinci Surgery offers many potential advantages over laparoscopy. (4)


*Procedure switched from minimally invasive to open surgery due to complexities encountered during the operation.

What does this mean for you? Ultimately, potential benefits including shorter hospital stay, less blood loss and fewer surgical complications allow women to get back to their lives faster. And, unlike conventional laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci Surgery enables doctors to treat women with very complex conditions or symptoms, such as:

  • Enlarged uterus due to fibroids
  • Pelvic adhesive disease caused by endometriosis or prior surgeries

da Vinci Surgery is allowing gynecologists to perform far more minimally invasive procedures with equal or better outcomes compared to traditional open and laparoscopic surgery.

The da Vinci System is a state-of-the-art surgical platform with 3D, high-definition vision and miniaturized, wristed surgical instruments designed to help doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. By helping doctors to overcome the challenges of traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for women around the world.

If you have been told you need a hysterectomy, it's time to ask your doctor about da Vinci Surgery. Learn why da Vinci Hysterectomy may be your best treatment option for a range of gynecologic conditions.

How Does It Work (video)

Real Stories (videos)

from da Vinci Patients

from da Vinci Surgeons

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed since surgery is specific to each patient, condition and procedure. It is important to talk to your doctor about all treatment options, including the risks and benefits. This information can help you to make the best decision for your situation.

While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci Surgical System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of outcome. All surgeries involve the risk of major complications. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual; it may not be applicable to your condition. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine whether da Vinci Surgery is appropriate for your situation. The clinical information and opinions, including any inaccuracies expressed in this materialby patients or doctors about da Vinci Surgery, are not necessarily those of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and should not be considered as substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor. All people depicted unless otherwise noted are models. © 2011 Intuitive Surgical. All rights reserved.
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1. Ko EM, Muto MG, Berkowitz RS, Feltmate CM.Robotic versus open radical hysterectomy: a comparative study at a single institution. Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):425-30. Epub 2008 Oct 16.
2. Piquion-Joseph JM, Navar A, Ghazaryan A, Papanna R, Klimek W, Laroia R. Robot-assisted gynecological surgery in a community setting. Journal of Robotic Surgery, 2009:1-4.
3. DeNardis SA, Holloway RW, Bigsby GE, Pikaart DP, Ahmad S, and Finkler NJ. Robotically assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy versus total abdominal hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy for endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 2008;111:412-417.
4. Payne, T. N. and F. R. Dauterive. A comparison of total laparoscopic hysterectomy to robotically assisted hysterectomy: surgical outcomes in a community practice. J Minim Invasive Gynecol, 2008;15(3): 286-291.
5. Boggess JF, Gehrig PA, Cantrell L, Shafer A, Ridgway M, Skinner EN, Fowler WC. A comparative study of 3 surgical methods for hysterectomy with staging for endometrial cancer: robotic assistance, laparoscopy, laparotomy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Oct;199(4):360.e1-9.
6. Bell MC, Torgerson J, Seshadri-Kreaden U, Suttle AW, Hunt S. Comparison of outcomes and cost for endometrial cancer staging via traditional laparotomy, standard laparoscopy and robotic techniques. Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Dec;111(3):407-11. Epub 2008 Oct 1.
7. “Hysterectomy”. Medline Plus; A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hysterectomy.html
8. National Institutes of Health., A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Hysterectomy”. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002915.htm

The content of this page was written and contributed by daVinci Hysterectomy.


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