DANVILLE - A Geisinger Medical Center surgeon has completed the health system's first robotic radical hysterectomy.
Dr. James Bosscher, a gynecologic oncologist at the medical center, conducted the surgery using its da Vinci robot.
"Until recently, most radical hysterectomies were performed through a large abdominal incision and laparoscopic surgery wasn't an option because of the complexities involved in a radical hysterectomy," Bosscher said. "The vision and dexterity of the robotic system allows us to conduct a complicated procedure in a minimally invasive way."
A radical hysterectomy, a treatment for cervical cancer, involves the complete removal of the uterus, cervix and upper vagina, as well as lymph nodes, ovaries, fallopian tubes and surrounding tissue.
During a robotic hysterectomy, the surgeon uses control devices to direct the surgical instruments that remove the reproductive organs. The robotic system translates the surgeon's hand movements into precise movements at the instrument's tip.
A radical hysterectomy is a complicated surgery, Bosscher said, involving considerable dissection of organs, blood vessels and surrounding tissue. The robotic system provides the surgeon with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control, all while sitting at an ergonomic console from which the surgeon controls the system.
The minimally invasive procedure results in added benefits for the patient, including:
Shorter hospital stay, typically a day versus three to four days for an open procedure;
Less pain due to smaller incisions;
Faster healing; and
"The ability to perform a radical hysterectomy as well as a simple hysterectomy robotically offers huge benefits to women, many of whom may remember their mother or other relative having to endure a painful procedure and extended recovery," Bosscher said. "With a robotic hysterectomy, we can get women back to living their lives more quickly."