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Gynecologic Robotic Surgery

Ellen Wilson, M.D., Associate Professor of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at UTSW and Medical Director of the Pediatric-Adolescent Gynecology Program at Children’s Medical Center, performing robotic surgery

Laparoscopic surgery performed with the aid of a “robot” is the most technologically advanced surgery available.

The laparoscopic ports are “docked” to robotic arms, which are controlled by a surgeon who sits at a console. The console allows very precise movements of the laparoscopic instruments with 3-D visualization of the tissues.

An assistant surgeon is also an important part of the process; the assistant stands at the operating table beside the patient and provides manual manipulation of an accessory port. Fine suturing can be performed in this way and is an important part of tubal reanastamosis procedures.

More difficult endometriosis cases and myomectomies (removal of fibroids) may be technically feasible with the use of robotic surgery. Hysterectomies and some cancer surgeries are also possible with robotic surgery.

Very specialized training is necessary to perform this type of procedure, which is not available at all medical centers. It is also important to remember that conditions treated with robotic surgery are more complex and that conversion to an open procedure is always a possibility.

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