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Robotic Gynecologic Surgery

Robotic Gynecologic Surgery at Columbia St. Mary’s

When used for certain gynecologic surgical procedures, the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System is proven to be advantageous for surgeons as well as their patients.

The da Vinci Surgery System is not an automatic robot, but rather a state-of-the-art tool that allows surgeons to complete delicate gynecologic procedures with incredible precision.

The da Vinci enables surgeons to perform complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach. Columbia St. Mary’s was the first hospital in the region to utilize the da Vinci System in 3D with high-definition. This enables the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body through tiny incisions at high magnification, brilliant color and with natural depth of field. While performing surgery with the da Vinci, the surgeon uses the robot’s master controls to maneuver its four arms. The robot’s jointed-wrist design exceeds the natural range of motion of the human hand, allowing surgeons to complete surgical procedures with an accuracy not available in traditional laparoscopic or open surgery.

Additional advantages of robotic surgery include:

  • Decreased blood loss during surgery
  • Shortened length of hospital stay
  • Decreased post-operative pain
  • Less scarring
  • Faster return to regular activities
  • Less risk of wound infection
Individual results may vary. Always ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of all available treatment options.

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Gynecologic Surgeries using the da Vinci Surgical System

Gynecologic surgery refers to procedures that are performed to treat a variety of conditions affecting the female reproductive organs. The main structures of the reproductive system are the vagina, the uterus, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes.

Several gynecologic surgical procedures are being performed at Columbia St. Mary’s utilizing the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. These include:

Hysterectomy — Removal of the uterus and cervix. The reason may be for pain, fibroids, uterine prolapsed, benign masses, or bleeding issues.

Myomectomy — Surgery to treat uterine fibroid tumors.

Sacrocolpopexy — Attaching the top of the vagina to the sacrum correct vaginal vault prolapse. It is for people who have significant vaginal prolapse. Usually the patient has had some type of procedure for prolapse in the past that has failed. Therefore, this is usually for people who have recurrence of prolapse.

Oophorectomy — Removal of one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes. This can be done in conjunction with or without a hysterectomy. Reasons may include benign ovarian masses, family history of ovarian cancer or wanting them removed when you have a hysterectomy.

Tubal Reanastamosis — Reversal of tubal ligation
Exploration of the Space of Reitzius — Exploring the space around the bladder for patients with unexplained pain. Patients may have had a bladder sling or bladder suspension in the past and need the area around the bladder explored to see why they may be having pain.

Lysis of Adhesions — Removing the scar tissue in the abdomen from previous surgeries. Adhesions can cause pain and this is one way of removing the scars to improve patients’ pain

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Benefits of Robotic Gynecologic Surgery

If your doctor recommends surgery for a gynecologic condition, you may be a candidate for a robotic surgery. Robotic surgery offers numerous potential benefits over a conventional surgery, including:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed for every patient. Also, robotic surgery is not an option for every patient. Please discuss your options as well as potential risks and benefits of all types of surgery with your physician.

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Find a Robotic Surgeon for Gynecologic Surgery

Jonathon Berkoff, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Charles Koh, MD, Gynecologic Surgery/Infertility, Co-Medical Director, Milwaukee Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Carlos Rodriguez, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Robert Stumpf, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Sheldon Wasserman, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Frederick Westreich, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for robotic gynecologic surgery?
A: It depends on why you need surgery. The only way to know is to ask. But most people should be a candidate.

Q: Will my insurance cover robotic surgery?
A: The majority of insurance companies pay for this surgery as they would conventional surgery, however there are exceptions. Please consult with your insurance carrier to confirm your coverage.

Q: How long do the operations take?
A: The time varies. Sometimes only an hour and some may be 5 hours.

Q: How long can I expect to stay in the hospital after my procedure?
A: The vast majority will go home the next morning. Some will go home the same day.

Q: After the surgery, when will I be able to resume normal activities?
A: Some of the major advantages of this surgery are decreased bleeding and decreased pain which results in a faster and easier recuperation time. Most individuals will be able to resume normal activities within a few days of surgery.

Q: How long can I expect to be off work after the procedure?
A: You should be able to resume normal activities in two weeks. However, this varies by patient and should be discussed with your physician.



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