Robotic procedure helps preserve fertility


Myomectomy is a procedure that removes uterine fibroids, keeping the uterus intact and preserving the ability for future pregnancies. It’s an important procedure, especially for young women. Complications for obese patients have plagued the procedure but new findings show that when performed with robotic technology, surgical complications are minimized.

Minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic gynecologic surgery techniques allow surgeons to perform operations without the need for large incisions and the risks they bring with them. By avoiding such incisions, the safety of surgery is improved, complications are lessened and post-operative pain is lessened. Recovery time also improves for a quicker return to everyday life.

In the US, the percentage of adults who are obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30, doubled from 1980 to 2000. Nearly 23 million of those are women. BMI is a numerical value of the ratio of weight to height.

The study followed 77 patients who underwent robot-assisted laparoscopic myomectomy from January 2005 through November 2008 at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital. More than 40 percent of them were in the obese range with a BMI of 30 or more. The study evaluated the impact of obesity on procedure time, blood loss and length of recuperative, post-operative hospital stay. For women who had undergone the robotic myomectomy procedure, obesity was not shown to be a risk factor for poor surgical outcome.

“Performing laparoscopic myomectomy on an obese patient can present difficulties for the most experienced gynecologic surgeon,” says David Eisenstein, division head at Henry Ford Hospital and co-author of the study. “However, this challenge can now be overcome with the assistance of surgical robots that provide the surgeon with three-dimensional images, improved instrument dexterity and better precision.”

Source: Henry Ford Health System, Medical News Today


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