Robotics and Women’s Health

From Pocatello Women’s Health Clinic, now a proud affiliate of Bingham Memorial Hospital

Today’s unprecedented rate of technological advancement is transforming the practice of medicine. We can now do more for patients than any group of healers in human history. Along with significant breakthroughs in technology, physicians and surgeons are able to provide superior treatment options and, in turn, improve the quality of care we provide to our patients.

In the past, traditional gynecological surgery required large incisions that often resulted in the equivalent of a soda can or more in blood loss, tissue trauma, and a hospital stay. A more modern advancement in gynecological surgery came in the form of the less invasive laparoscopic surgical methods that involve the use of robotically controlled instruments, tiny cameras, and smaller incisions. Traditional laparoscopic surgery, however, has its limitations and has fallen out of favor for complex surgical procedures. More recently, technologically advanced surgical procedures are performed with robotic-assisted surgical systems, which offer top-quality surgical care, significantly smaller incision ports, minimal blood loss, as well as decreased post-operative pain.

The da Vinci robotic surgical system has significantly advanced laparoscopic surgery. Surgeons control the instruments remotely and use enhanced three-dimensional images to operate with maximum precision. With the computer-assisted technology, we have a far greater range of motion and dexterity than traditional laparoscopic technique. Computer-enhanced visualization of anatomy is critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder.

Overall, the da Vinci allows for a range of motion far greater than the human hand. The incisions are typically only 8-mm, which lead to less scarring and shortened recovery times. In fact, approximately 60 to 70 percent of our gynecologic patients go home the same day and are back to work within seven to10 days.

When non-invasive options or medication or both fail to relieve individual symptoms, surgery is often an effective, next-step treatment option for a wide range of conditions. Hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, is the second most common surgery in the United States. It is estimated that one-third of all women will have to have a hysterectomy by age 60. In addition to our excellent individualized care, the Pocatello Women’s Health Clinic is committed to offering patients the most state-of-the-art technology available.

It is quite a lengthy process to become certified to use the da Vinci robotic surgical system. To perform these procedures, surgeons must undergo extensive preparation that includes comprehensive computer training and hours of surgical observation. We are proud to boast that all the physicians practicing at the Pocatello Women’s Health Clinic are experienced and trained in robotic surgery.

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