St. Elizabeth Robotic Surgery Center
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What physical limitations will I have after the operation and when will I be able to resume activities such as working, driving and exercise?
A: After da Vinci® Gynecologic Surgery, most patients are able to resume normal activities in one or two weeks. With da Vinci® Surgery, we only make a few incisions which are only the size of a dime; tissue is not spread during the procedure. This shortens your healing and recovery time, lowers your risk of infection and minimizes pain after surgery.
Because da Vinci® surgery is the least invasive surgical treatment, you will be able to go home earlier and return to your regular activities more quickly than with open surgery.
Q: Is da Vinci® Gynecologic Surgery a standard operation? How safe is da Vinci® Gynecologic Surgery?
A: While da Vinci® Surgery involves a relatively new technique and approach to gynecologic surgery, the da Vinci® System has been used in tens of thousands of procedures worldwide for more than five years. Essentially, da Vinci® is minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery that can achieve significantly better results due to the application of robotic technology. The features of the da Vinci® System enhance the surgeon’s capabilities, which make it possible to provide you with all the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure, including reduced risk of infection and complications.
This technology can also help the surgeon’s capabilities, potentially making da Vinci® Surgery as safe or possibly safer than conventional approaches. For example, the superior, high magnified, three-dimensional vision helps the surgeon to see the target anatomy better without the need for a large incision.
The robotic instruments that move like a human wrist provide unparalleled precision and dexterity making it possible to perform more complex dissection and repair. With the da Vinci® System, the surgeon is seated at a console and always in full control of the instruments and micro movements. This makes the operation intuitive for the surgeon and lets him or her fully concentrate on the target anatomy. Another advantage of using the da Vinci® System is that the assistant has complete access to the surgical site and can assist during complex steps of the procedure. Surgical tasks can be greatly facilitated with this support.
Q: Isn’t open surgery safer for many patients?
A: More difficult or complex gynecologic surgery with heavy adhesions due to endometriosis or prior pelvic surgery are often difficult to perform laparoscopically, which can lead to conversion to open surgery. Some surgeons perform more complex gynecologic surgery through open incisions for precisely this reason. da Vinci® helps to overcome the limitations of laparoscopy by enabling the surgeon to visualize and dissect compromised anatomy and tissue planes, giving the gynecologic surgeon a better tool to perform a minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for the majority of their surgical candidates.
Q: How soon can I expect to be able to have sexual relations after surgery?
A: As with any surgery, it will take time for your body to heal and return to normal function. The extent and length of recovery depends on a number of factors including the type of surgery you had, your age, and on the level of functionality you had before surgery. That said, the general rule of thumb after a hysterectomy is about six weeks.