Da Vinci is a minimally invasive robotic surgery system that allows a gynecologist or surgeon to operate through a few small incisions or one incision in the belly button versus a large open incision. A laproscope, a thin lighted tube, is then inserted through the abdomen so the surgeon can see, and this is attached to the robotic da Vinci system.
If a woman has a non-cancerous condition and needs a hysterectomy, she may be a candidate for da Vinci surgery. With this system, the surgeon can operate with much greater precision than performing a traditional hysterectomy.
Things to Consider
If you need a hysterectomy, your gynecologist will discuss the benefits of da Vinci in comparison to other surgical approaches. The primary benefits to you will be significantly less pain, small incisions and small scars, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.
For the gynecologist or surgeon, there are benefits as well. The system allows the surgeon a high definition, three-dimensional view of the area and the instruments he or she uses can perform complex rotations and bends that a human hand cannot.
However, like any surgery, da Vinci hysterectomy also poses risks, and your gynecologist will discuss these with you as well.
About the Surgery
You will be given general anesthesia, and once asleep your gynecologist or surgeon may pump gas into your belly to inflate it. This will give your gynecologist the best view and ample space to perform the surgery.
Your gynecologist or surgeon will make small incisions and insert a laparoscope and other surgical instruments through them. They will then attaches the laparoscope and instruments to the da Vinci system robotic arms, then goes to a control area to remotely control the surgery.
Your uterus is then cut into small sections that are removed through the incisions or through your vagina. After surgery, your gynecologist or surgeon will use stitches to close the incisions, then cover them with dressings.
After the Surgery
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room and observed as you become alert and your vital signs stabilize. After a da Vinci hysterectomy, most women stay in the hospital for a few days.
During your hospital stay, your healthcare team will support you and answer your questions as you recover. It’s normal to experience some pain during early recovery and your gynecologist or surgeon can suggest medications if you need them.
At home, follow all of your surgeon's instructions. Also, make sure your incisions are kept dry for several days. It’s important to avoid strenuous activity, however it is also important to get up and walk to avoid blood clots and promote a speedy recovery.