The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery (CIRS) is a national leader in using state-of-the-art robotics to improve reproductive gynecological surgery outcomes.
What is Robot-Assisted Reproductive Gynecological Surgery?
The da Vinci® Surgical System is used to perform the robotic gynecological procedures, including myomectomy. Each system consists of a surgeon’s console, equipped with a control panel and a hi-definition monitor, and a patient side-cart, outfitted with robotic arms and attended by another surgeon and a nurse at the operating table.
Traditional open gynecological surgery often requires larger abdominal incisions, but only small (5-12mm) incisions are needed for the da Vinci’s robotic arms and tiny surgical tools. There are four robotic arms, which, unlike traditional minimally invasive surgical instruments, are all wristed – one equipped with a high definition 3-D magnification camera, two that act as the surgeon’s arms and an optional fourth arm that is used for holding back tissue. The camera gives the surgeon enhanced detail, true depth of field and a panoramic view.
The robotic hands precisely replicate the surgeon’s hand movements while smoothing out hand tremors and scaling movements as needed. The surgical console’s ergonomics also help to ease surgeon fatigue.
The surgeon remotely guides the robotic arms while seated at the console, located close to the patient. These smooth and effortless movements, along with the wristed capabilities of the robotic arms, are the most significant advantages that robotic surgery has over traditional minimally invasive surgical procedures.
This cutting-edge technology’s ability to broaden the scope of minimally invasive gynecological surgery is compelling more and more of the Center’s patients to consider robotic laparoscopic surgery as a safe and effective means of preserving their fertility and, in select cases, enhancing outcomes for subsequent assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures.
Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Reproductive Gynecological Surgery
This miniaturization, increased range of motion, enhanced vision, and mechanical precision ultimately allow for virtually all reproductive surgeries to be performed laparoscopically. This translates to definitive benefits for Gargiulo and Srouji’s patients, such as:
less blood loss
less post-surgical pain/less medication
quicker recovery and return to normal activities
less likelihood of complications
Despite these well-known benefits, most gynecologic procedures today are still being performed with traditional open surgery techniques. This is largely because the techniques are difficult to learn and teach, and that is why patients are coming to BWH to be treated by surgeons who have significant experience and demonstrable skills in laparoscopic and robotic gynecological surgery, including robotic myomectomy.
Our Surgeons are Leaders in their Field
The Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery has pioneered the use of robotic gynecological surgery platforms in all aspects of reproductive surgery. Our lead surgeons are world-renown experts in state-of-the-art robotic operations aimed at improving reproductive outcomes. They have adopted this technology since its inception and have developed safe and reliable operative protocols over many years of safe use.
In January 2007, BWH surgeons performed New England’s first successful robot-assisted laparoscopic tubal sterilization reversal and, shortly thereafter, in February 2007, they also performed Boston’s first robot-assisted hybrid myomectomy for the removal of very large myomata.
If you would like to learn more about robotic surgery or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the physician referral service at 1-800-294-9999.
Antonio R. Gargiulo, MD, Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at Brigham Health, discusses the benefits of robotic surgery and the many ways that this technology is being used across Brigham Health.