A recent New York Times article relays new study findings on robotic GYN surgery complications in benign gynecologic procedures. The report indicated an increased number of complications occurring during the robot assisted procedures with bladder and ureter damages accounting for most of the increased injuries.
Is the robot better than a trained laparoscopic GYN specialist? Is it more precise? Is it more efficient, safer, faster, and does it provide a better recovery? Does the robot actually do the surgery? The answer to all of these questions is “No.”
So why is the robot being used to perform GYN surgeries? It all has to do with your OBGYN. As a patient, you need to know that your OB is primarily an Obstetrician, not a surgeon. In fact, Obstetrician Gynecologists admit that the majority of their practice is spent on treating pregnant patients and on office gynecology. Surgery only makes up 25% of their practice. (ACOG 2008 survey). The majority of OBGYNs are much better at open surgical procedures, not laparoscopy.
Compared to the minimally invasive GYN laparoscopic surgical specialists, the OBGYN:
- – Is NOT fellowship trained in minimally invasive GYN surgery
- – Is NOT a surgical specialist who focuses on surgery
- – Does NOT do a high volume of laparoscopic surgery
For the OBGYN, the robot is necessary to complete laparoscopic surgery such as ovarian cystectomy, hysterectomy, and other types of procedures. The robot is in fact a necessary “crutch” for the OB.
The surgical result is only as good as the surgeon behind the robot. Robotic procedures for hysterectomy and ovarian surgery do not provide a better clinical outcome.
- – Robotic procedures take longer to perform
- – Are more expensive
- – May increase complications compared to standard laparoscopy
At The Center for Innovative GYN Care, techniques and procedures have been developed for GYN surgery that actually improve surgical outcomes and lower cost compared to robotic surgery. DualportGYN and LAAM procedures for hysterectomy, endometriosis, removal of ovarian cysts, and uterine sparing fibroid surgery have fewer complications, smaller number and size of incisions, faster recovery and are performed at much lower cost.
As a patient, learn all of the facts and know your options before choosing a surgeon and surgical procedure. Having a surgical procedure performed by a CIGC specialist in DualportGYN and LAAM techniques will remarkably enhance your recovery and greatly reduce your risk of complications.