While hysterectomy is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures among women, health care providers say, its necessity has always been focus of question. The advent of robotic-aided procedures influenced several medical providers to offer several major surgeries with robotic assistance. Although these robots are state of the art, according to Dr James Breeden, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), their results remains the same results as that of minimally invasive hysterectomies but are more costly. The question of the relevance of hysterectomies done with robots have not abated the rising number of these operations.
In the United States alone, the surgical removal of the uterus which may include the cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries is the second most performed major operation in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention is the main thrust in helping lower the rates of hysterectomies. Health experts suggest that patients who do not have any complications may undergo the traditional minimally invasive procedure. Hysterectomies and other major operations are now making use of these surgical robots.
The following characteristics may warrant a hysterectomy:
– Bleeding and infection that are unmanageable
– Invasive cancerous tumors in the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes or ovaries
– Childbirth complications that endanger the life of the mother
Health care providers are advised by the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) to try other means first before resulting to this surgical procedure. There are many types of hysterectomies and they may cause problems if they are performed without the need for such procedure. Using robotic assistance during hysterectomy has also showed that it does not only increase the cost of the procedure but also did not show any evidence that it is better than laparoscopic hysterectomy, as was shown in a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study’s findings have answered the debate of the use of robots in hysterectomies. It is also clear that the learning curve that surgeons are experiencing is a great disadvantage to the technology. Studies regarding the use of these robots and their short- and long-term effects may be needed to ensure feasibility and safety in suing such technology.