Robotic-assisted surgery for gynecological cancers is revolutionary
The technique might be high-tech, but it’s the benefits for patients that have made robotic-assisted surgery so revolutionary.
After more than a decade spent performing more than 2,000 surgeries using the da Vinci Surgical System to remove gynecologic cancers and benign masses, Daniel Donato, MD, gynecologic oncology surgeon at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers , knows the benefits robotic-assisted surgery means for patients:
- Less pain
- Reduced risk of infection
- Less blood loss
- Smaller incision and less scarring
- Less post-operative pain and faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stays
Robotic-assisted surgery is done through small incisions, through which magnified three-dimensional and high-definition vision systems and tiny instruments are inserted.
At RMCC, candidates for robotic-assisted surgery include women diagnosed with uterine, cervical, endometrial, and early-stage ovarian cancers, as well as those with non-cancerous conditions like endometriosis, complex fibroids, and pelvic masses and cysts.
A Faster Path to Recovery with Robotic-Assisted Surgery
The benefits of robotic-assisted surgery not only make recovery easier on patients, they also save money by shortening time spent in the hospital, and allow patients to move on to the next step in their treatment journey quicker.
For patients who need chemotherapy or radiation after surgery, that faster recovery time often means those treatments can begin sooner. And for the vast majority of Donato’s Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers patients, there is one additional benefit: their hospital stay isn’t shortened — it’s eliminated entirely.
Donato, who is based at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers’ Rose Medical Center location, estimates that 99 percent of the procedures he performs with the da Vinci robotic assisted surgery system are done on an outpatient basis.
One reason that is possible is that Donato and his surgical team have altered anesthesia for robot-assisted surgery patients. Patients still get general anesthesia, but it’s lighter, and patients get medications before the procedure to reduce pain afterward, along with local anesthesia in the abdomen during the surgery. With lighter anesthesia, patients don’t wake up with nausea, or quite as many cobwebs in their heads. That makes going home sooner after surgery a real, and safe, option.
Better View, Better Results
Robotic-assisted surgery offers benefits for surgeons, too. Donato says. The da Vinci system provides four robotic arms, each of which offer the surgeon flexible 360-degree rotation. And gives surgeons magnified three-dimensional views of the surgical area.
There is even a fluorescent dye that facilitates more efficient sampling of sentinel nodes near uterine and cervical tumors.
“This is the most important development in surgery in 10 or 15 years. It has totally transformed the way we do surgery,” Donato says.
Learn more about surgery to treat gynecological cancers at Rocky Mountain Medical Centers.