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Robotic Hysterectomy: A Better Option or Not?

By HERWriter
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 is robotic hysterectomy a better option? MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Each year approximately 600,000 American women have hysterectomies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This statistic was reported in the New York Times.

Hysterectomy can be recommended for benign fibroid tumors, cancerous tumors, uterine prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, and other causes of long-term abnormal uterine bleeding.

When hysterectomy is done through small incisions using a thin, lighted scope with a camera, it’s a laparoscopic hysterectomy, wrote Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Robotic hysterectomy involves computer-controlled long, thin robot-like "arms" equipped with tiny surgical instruments, said CBS News.

The surgeon sits at a console with a three-dimensional view of the surgical site, and computer technology translates his or her hand movements into precise, scaled movements of the instruments, wrote New York Times.

NYU Langone Medical Center (NYULMC) wrote that typically five standard quarter-inch incisions are made in the abdomen. Ports are placed in the incisions through which the robot's camera and instrument arms are inserted.

Next, the surgeon detaches the uterus from its surrounding structures, continued NYULMC. If the cervix is to remain, the uterus is detached from the cervix and then removed from the abdomen using a device called a morcellator.

A morcellator enables the surgeon to cut the uterus into small pieces to then be taken out through one of the ports. If the cervix is removed as well, additional cuts are made to detach it. After surgery, the incisions are stitched closed.

According to NYULMC, robotic hysterectomy advantages include less blood loss during surgery, less scarring and post-operative pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, and fewer post-operative complications.

MedPageToday.com reported that robotic hysterectomy increased dramatically from 2007 to 2010. This has happened despite higher cost and similar complication rates compared with laparoscopic hysterectomy, according to a new study.

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EmpowHER Guest

Aren't there concerns about morcellation spreading pieces of tissue into other parts of the body? Since I have endometriosis that is a major concern for me. And I honestly don't believe robotic surgery would cause less pain. You're still making incisions, and you're cutting and removing organs. That is definitely going to hurt. I don't see how it would be any less painful/bloody than a laparoscopy done with human hands.

March 2, 2013 - 10:30am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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