Q&A Topic: Robot-Assisted Gynecologic Surgery

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Elisa Burns, MD

Q. What are the benefits of robot-assisted surgery for a gynecologic condition?

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A. A dramatic shift has occurred from the standard use of “open” gynecologic surgery—which involves making a large incision—to minimally invasive surgical techniques. The da Vinci® Surgical System is the most advanced form—and a quantum leap forward for women. The system’s greatly enhanced magnification and unique 3D views of the surgical site, highly-flexible instruments, and the ability to make the surgeon’s movements even more precise—all translate to new levels of accuracy and safety for gynecologic surgery, as well as dramatically faster recoveries with so little pain that women are astonished.At Northern Westchester Hospital, we are using this method to treat an expanding range of gynecologic conditions. Hysterectomies, fibroids, cystectomies, and even malignancies like cervical cancer, endometrial, or early ovarian cancer, can be addressed with this technique.

Q. The idea of a robot performing gynecologic surgery on me is scary. What exactly does the robot do?
A. A big misconception about this technology is that the robot is in charge. The gynecologic surgeon is 100 percent in control at all times. Think of it as a surgical tool that enables the use of specialized instruments that can cut, clamp, and suture through tiny incisions.

Q. When can I return to my normal routine?
A. With robot-assisted surgery, women often return to their busy lives, faster. And the psychological benefit of getting back to their life sooner—whether that involves kids, aging parents, a job, or volunteering in the community—can be significant. It’s possible to go home within a day and return to regular activities in about two weeks.

Northern Westchester Hospital
Director, Quality & Outcomes
Institute for Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery
Learn More About Dr. Burns

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