Hysterectomy's Robotic Helping Hands

May 20, 2013

For women with gynecological issues, a hysterectomy is one of the most common procedures in the United States. At Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, robots are standing right beside surgeons, helping them do what they do best.

The robotic hysterectomy is a type of minimally invasive surgery called a laparoscopy, which uses a 3-D high definition camera to help the surgeon see. The camera is inserted into several small cuts on the abdomen. Then, using a remote control unit, the surgeon moves the robot’s arms to do the hysterectomy.

Laparoscopy has been around since the 1980s, but surgical robots for hysterectomies didn’t exist until fairly recently. Five years ago, the da Vinci® Surgical System first arrived at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

“Many of our robotic surgeons are among the most experienced in the region,” says one of them, Munther Alaiwat, M.D. “Unlike a standard laparoscopy, the robot lets the surgeon work with more exactness and better magnification.” Afterwards, patients feel a lot less pain, and have less blood loss, fewer complications, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries.

Robotic surgery may or may not be the best option for a woman seeking a hysterectomy. But if it is, Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital promises state-of-the-art equipment. “The most exciting thing is that the robotic technology continues to advance rapidly,” continues Alaiwat. “It’s amazing to think about where we might be five years from now.”