Research & Education
About the Hysterectomy Procedure
Robot-assisted hysterectomy is performed using the da Vinci® Surgical System. Instead of standing over you, the patient, looking into the abdominal cavity or watching a monitor, the surgeon sits at a special station and sees a 3-dimensional (3-D) view of whatever the lens on the camera arm is pointed at. The lens magnifies the image to be 10 times larger than it normally looks. Using hand and foot controls, the surgeon expertly manipulates the arms of the machine from the console to perform this intricate surgery. The machine has four arms. One arm has a high-definition camera. The other arms hold the special tools that are needed for the procedure. The tools on the robotic arms are thinner, more flexible, and more precise than the surgeon’s fingers—and they never get tired!
How it works
During the robot-assisted hysterectomy for suspected cancer, your doctor will use the robotic instruments to remove the uterus and cervix along with your fallopian tubes and ovaries. These are removed from the vagina in one piece and sent to Pathology for examination under the microscope to evaluate the aggressiveness or size of the tumor.
To determine if the cancer has spread outside of the uterus your doctor may also remove some lymph nodes in your pelvis and abdomen. This will help guide your doctor in making postoperative treatment decisions and determine prognosis.
During surgery, a Foley catheter will be placed in your bladder to drain urine during and after surgery. This is usually removed the morning after surgery before you go home. Once all the tissue is removed, your surgeon will close the top of the vagina and sew your skin incisions closed with suture that dissolves on its own.