Laparoscopic and Robotic Excision of EndometriosisThe removal of endometriosis can be achieved with a laparoscopic procedure performed robotically.
Laparoscopic and robotic excision of endometriosis is a minimally invasive, fertility-sparing procedure used to treat endometriosis. A woman’s uterus is a muscular organ with several layers. The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus and is what thickens each month in preparation for pregnancy. When a fertilized egg does not implant in the lining, the endometrium breaks down and sheds, which is called menstruation.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue that looks and behaves like endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus. Because these tissues (called endometrial implants) can’t be shed monthly, they continue to grow and thicken within the pelvic cavity. This can cause pain, cramping, irregular bleeding and the formation of adhesions or lesions in the areas surrounding the uterus. Laparoscopic and robotic excision of endometriosis can be used to both diagnose and remove endometrial tissue implants.
Laparoscopic and robotic excision of endometriosis isn’t performed by a robot; a surgeon is in control of the instruments the entire time as with traditional open surgeries. The difference is that a robotic machine is holding the instruments that are precisely and remotely controlled by the surgeon.
In general, the procedure follows these steps:
- Up to five small incisions are made in the abdomen.
- A thin scope with a camera (laparoscope) and small surgical instruments are attached to a robotic arm and threaded through the abdominal incisions.
- Images of the exterior of the uterus and surrounding anatomy are projected on a screen in a control room.
- A surgeon remotely controls the instruments via the robotic arm to remove the abnormal endometrial implants and lesions from the pelvic cavity.
- The instruments are withdrawn and the incisions are closed.
What to Expect
Because laparoscopic and robotic excision of endometriosis is minimally invasive, most patients are able to return home the same day. In addition, patients generally have a faster recovery and experience less pain and scarring with this procedure compared to open surgeries.
However, there are risks to consider, as with any surgery. Risks include:
- An adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding to warrant a transfusion
- Damage to other organs near the treatment area
How Effective is Excision of Endometriosis?
The removal of endometriosis with a robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is a safe and effective option that helps relieve symptoms without harming the uterus. As a result, it is an excellent alternative for women of child-bearing age who do not want a hysterectomy. While the procedure is not a cure for endometriosis, it can increase the probability that a woman carries a successful pregnancy within about a two year period following surgery.
Thanks to state-of-the-art technology and skill, the gynecological experts at Tampa General Hospital perform laparoscopic and robotic excision of endometriosis. With a multidisciplinary team of women’s care specialists, we are able to treat endometriosis and spare the uterus for women who seek relief from painful symptoms and wish to have children.