From OHC

May 5, 2013

OHC’s gynecologic oncology surgeons, Marcia Bowling, M.D. and Nancy Simon, M.D. are regional leaders in the use of the da Vinci Surgery System on women with gynecologic cancers. The da Vinci System allows for a high degree of precision, and minimizes the pain and risk typically associated with traditional hysterectomies, because of smaller incisions and use of a 3D camera.

“Robotic-assisted surgery allows me to treat women with certain gynecologic cancers and other challenging gynecologic conditions with a better quality operation, smaller incisions, less pain, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, faster return to normal activities and fewer complications,” said Bowling, who is ranked No. 8 in the world for volume in robotic-assisted surgery.

The da Vinci System uses miniaturized wristed instruments and a high-definition 3D camera, which are inserted through multiple incisions less than one-half inch in length. A surgeon sitting at a computer console guides the instruments, as the system stabilizes every movement.

While a recent publication reported slightly higher costs and potentially higher risks with robotic surgery, that did not take into account the difference in acuity of patients who receive robotic surgery or the substantial benefits to the patients as discussed above. According to Dr. Simon, “Given the high complexity of the patients we see, robotic surgery benefits those patients with minimal risks and quicker recovery so they can resume their daily activities and begin treatment for their cancer. Not everyone needs robotic surgery but for some patients it’s an option, especially for those with complex problems and gynecologic cancers.”

Dr. Bowling added that the da Vinci System has expanded our ability to help patients: “Laparoscopic technology was state of the art when it was first introduced. Now, the da Vinci takes that innovation to the next level. The equipment is smaller, meaning more maneuverability, and the imaging is more precise. We can now perform complex surgeries with a much higher degree of confidence that patients will have significantly shorter recovery times and quicker returns to their normal daily routines.”

Because the da Vinci System requires minimal incisions, the procedure has achieved a nearly 50 percent reduction in the recovery time a patient would need to spend in a hospital if they underwent a traditional procedure that required an incision.

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