News | Published April 10, 2012 | Written by J. Frederick Doucette, MD, FACOG

Robotic surgery offers many benefits to patients

Recently, there has been a strong increase in the interest in minimally invasive procedures because of the benefits for patients. This interest is supported by the development of new and advanced tools in surgical technology. I would argue that nowhere has the demand for this type of surgery been more pronounced than in women's healthcare.

Oftentimes, a hysterectomy is discussed as an option for severe, heavy menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroids or endometriosis. In the past, many patients have been reluctant to proceed with the surgery because of concerns over the length of recovery, the size of the incision and the pain of the initial recovery.

In the last year and a half, the gynecologists of Mount Nittany Physician Group have developed and advanced their practice and skills in laparoscopic techniques, with the goal of performing the majority of gynecologic procedures in a minimally invasive fashion.

In late 2011, Mount Nittany launched its robotics program - da Vinci® Surgery. We feel robotics technology will further assist us in providing state-of-the-art care. By using this technology, a physician can perform complex surgical procedures, such as laparoscopic hysterectomy, in a manner that is as minimally invasive as possible. The da Vinci robot can also be used in surgeries for ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and endometriosis.

There are major benefits to using da Vinci Surgery, including faster recovery times. When using robotic surgery for a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the recovery time is as short as one to two weeks, in comparison with a six-week recovery period after a regular abdominal hysterectomy. In addition, those undergoing robotic surgery will experience significantly less pain, smaller incisions (between
1 and 2 centimeters), shorter hospital stays, less risk of infection and less blood loss.

All surgeries carry some degree of risk, so the goal of Mount Nittany Physician Group is to offer our patients top-quality care while also providing the vast majority of surgical options in a minimally invasive way that best fits their needs. Patients should speak with their physician to determine what surgery options are available to them, and which options are best for their particular needs. Using advanced technology is one of the many ways we are offering excellence in care to the community.