GYN Cancer Robotics FAQ

What is the surgery called?
Robot-assisted total hysterectomy (removal of uterus with cervix), bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries) is for endomentrial and benign cancer cases. With early stage cervical cancer, we call it radical hysterectomy, which entails getting wider surgical margins.

What exactly is removed in my surgery?
In your surgery the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes and ovaries will be removed. If cancer has spread outside of uterus (or ovary), we will remove lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen.

How should I prepare for my surgery?
When you come to RPCI for a consultation there is a lot of information we need to make sure we do the best job possible. The information can include an up-to-date list of your medications, previous surgeries, allergies, and current medical conditions.

Extensive information on what to expect in the days leading up to surgery can be found in our GYN preop booklet.

How long is my surgery, and how long do I stay in the hospital?
The amount of time the surgery takes can vary between patients, but is on average 2-3 hours. If lymph nodes need to be removed surgery can take longer.
After a hysterectomy you may be required to stay in the hospital overnight. The time varies for each type of hysterectomy and how it was performed.  Some discomfort is expected for the first few days after the surgery, and you will be given medication for this. After robotic surgery the discomfort is very minimal. You should expect vaginal spotting and discharge for several weeks.  Sanitary pads can be used for this.
It is important to follow your health care provider’s instructions after surgery. Get lots of rest, and do not lift heavy objects unless permitted by your doctor.  You should not douche, use tampons, or have sex for the first 8 weeks. It is important to continue seeing your health care provider for routine exams even after recovery.

What do I go home with?
After a routine robotic hysterectomy, you’ll go home with a script for pain medicine and a stool softener. If a radical hysterectomy is performed, the doctor will leave the Foley catheter in to allow the bladder to recover. This is removed at your first post-op visit.

When will I follow up with my doctor?
If there aren’t any problems, the first routine post-op visit will be scheduled in 2 weeks. Sometimes, if there’s a Foley catheter, you may have to return sooner.

What will happen in the weeks after surgery?
2 to 4 Weeks After Your Surgery:

  • At your first visit after your surgery your doctor will discuss your pathology report with you
  • Your doctor will check your vital signs, bladder function, bowel function, and your incisions
  • Keep a list of any problems or questions you have before this appointment so you can discuss them with your doctor
  • Please discuss with your doctor any pain you are still experiencing so you can work out a pain management plan
  • You may be referred to another healthcare professional, including a Chemotherapy nurse  or Radiation Oncologist at Roswell Park depending on your pathology report and your treatment plan

4 to 6 Weeks After Your Surgery:

  • At this follow-up visit you can expect to have a physical examination
  • Keep a list of any problems or questions you have before this appointment so you can discuss them with your doctor
  • Please discuss with your doctor any pain you are still experiencing so you can work out a pain management plan