Robotic Surgery

Robotic Hysterectomy Surgery

Hysterectomies can be performed abdominally, vaginally, laparoscopically, or robotically. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s history and condition to determine the best method of hysterectomy. Emory Healthcare has surgeons who are well-trained in performing all types of hysterectomy, including robotic hysterectomies.

Many patients wish to pursue a robotic hysterectomy because it is a minimally invasive option, meaning that there will be minimal scarring and recovery is generally much quicker than a traditional open surgery. A robotic hysterectomy is also a good option for women with prior surgical complications or specific conditions that may complicate wound healing, such as diabetes and obesity.

A robotic hysterectomy is performed while the patient is under anesthesia. The surgeon makes a few tiny incisions in the abdomen for a laparoscope (a thin tube with a camera at its end) and the robotic arms. Gas is inserted into the abdomen so that there is space for the surgeon to maneuver.

The surgeon then controls the robot’s movements to remove the uterus and the cervix. The robotic arms mimic the surgeon’s moves. If necessary, the doctor can also perform an oophorectomy, which removes the ovaries, or a salpingectomy, which removes the fallopian tubes, during the robotic hysterectomy. These procedures are often needed if the patient is at risk for ovarian cancer. The incisions are then closed with a small amount of glue or just one or two stitches at each site.

By using a robot to perform a hysterectomy, the surgeon can make more precise movements, some of which are difficult to make with the human hand. The robot’s equipment also provides the doctor with a three-dimensional picture and a much better visualization of the pelvic organs and surrounding structures. With this level of vision and control, the surgeon can perform a procedure that remains as minimally invasive as possible.

Robotic Hysterectomy Recovery

A robotic hysterectomy has many benefits for patients. Robotic hysterectomy recovery can be more comfortable than traditional abdominal surgery and usually includes a much shorter hospital stay. Patients typically experience less pain, less bleeding, and have fewer complications; they also have a much smaller scar from the surgery.

The patient will experience soreness and possibly bruising immediately after the surgery, but most patients are usually able to return to their regular activities much more quickly than those who have a more traditional hysterectomy. More specific risks and expectations for recovery will be discussed by the doctor before and after the surgery.

Other Robotic Gynecologic Surgery

Several other gynecologic surgeries can be performed robotically, including myomectomy (surgery to remove fibroids) and sacrocolpopexy (surgery to repair pelvic prolapse). As with any surgical procedure, our doctors will be happy to explain the method chosen and how it benefits the patient’s particular situation.