(MAYWOOD, Ill.) Women's pelvic surgeries - including hysterectomy, prolapse repair and procedures to correct incontinence - are getting a high-tech makeover at Loyola University Health System's Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery Center.
A specialized robotic surgical system is now being used regularly by Loyola urogynecologists for several pelvic surgery procedures, including hysterectomy and prolapse repair. Loyola is one of the first medical centers in the Chicago area to offer this minimally invasive option for women.
"The larger incisions and longer recovery times associated with traditional hysterectomy and other pelvic surgeries are now a thing of the past," said Kimberly Kenton, MD, associate professor, obstetrics & gynecology, urogynecology and urology.
"With the robotic system, women experience less pain, blood loss and scarring and are able to return to their normal activities more quickly than if they had an open procedure. In most cases, women who have a robotic-assisted procedure will spend only one night in the hospital," she added. A laparoscopic approach is used - that is, a tiny camera is inserted through a small abdominal incision so that the surgeon can see everything inside on a three-dimensional screen. Working though tiny incisions, the surgeon controls every move of the robotic arms from a computer console at the patient's bedside. The robot's arms are fully articulated, allowing it to turn and grasp with more agility and precision than the human hand.
Although most procedures take about the same amount of time as an open surgery, the recovery time is lessened because patients do not have to care for a large abdominal incision. Many women return to work or normal activity within a week.
Awareness of this minimally invasive option is still growing among American women. It is estimated that only one in 10 American women currently opts for a minimally invasive approach for hysterectomy.
Other minimally invasive surgical procedures offered at Loyola's Urogynecology & Reconstructive Surgery Center include those to treat vaginal prolapse, fistulas or other conditions that may cause incontinence, as well as disorders of the pelvic structures.
The staff's expertise in minimally invasive pelvic surgery is one example of the center's commitment to offering options that are grounded in research, notes Kenton.
"At Loyola, we are constantly asking how we can improve the treatment options available for our patients, whether surgical or non-surgical. We try hard to meet our patients' individual needs and to offer solutions that make sense for their lives. We're here to help," she said.
To learn about participating in a clinical study offered through the Urogynecology& Reconstructive Surgery Center, phone (708) 216-4188.