Laparoscopic and Robotic MyomectomyWomen with uterine fibroids may benefit from a laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy.
Laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove symptomatic uterine fibroids in women. In the past, a hysterectomy (or full removal of the uterus and sometimes other parts of the reproductive system) was the only treatment for fibroids. Robot-assisted, laparoscopic myomectomy is an appealing alternative for women who wish to find relief from their symptoms but also retain their ability to get pregnant following the procedure.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Laparoscopic and Robotic Myomectomy?Myomectomy treats uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas. These non-cancerous growths can appear in and around the uterus. They can be very small or as large as a grapefruit. Fibroids are incredibly common among women in their 30s and 40s. In fact, 40% to 80% of women are diagnosed with the condition by the age of 50.
For many women with fibroids, menstruation can be an incredible difficult, resulting in pelvic pain and pressure, heavy bleeding (with blood clots larger than a quarter) and other problems. Depending on the size, location and quantity of fibroids, a woman’s fertility can be affected.
Compared to traditional myomectomy, where a large incision in the abdominal wall must be made, robotic myomectomy requires only a few small incisions in the abdomen.
The procedure typically follows this process:
- A laparoscope (thin tube with a camera) and small surgical instruments are attached to a robotic arm and threaded through the abdominal incisions.
- Images of the uterus and surrounding anatomy are then viewed on a screen in a control room.
- A surgeon remotely controls the instruments via a robotic arm to remove the fibroids from the uterus.
What to Expect
Laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, so patients are able to return home the same day. Some women may experience mild cramping, pain and light vaginal bleeding for up to two weeks following the procedure. Nothing should be inserted into the vagina for two weeks, but normal activities may be resumed in two to three weeks after the surgery.
There are risks to consider, as with any procedure. For minimally invasive myomectomy, those risks include:
- A bad reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding to warrant a transfusion
- Damage to other organs near the treatment area
- Blood clots after the procedure
- The chance of needing to switch to an open myomectomy procedure
How Effective is Laparoscopic and Robotic Myomectomy?
For certain candidates, a laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy is a highly effective procedure to reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with uterine fibroids. In addition, robotic myomectomy is an effective fertility-sparing procedure, allowing a woman who desires to have children retain her uterus.
The gynecological surgeons at Tampa General Hospital take a well-rounded approach to women’s care, ensuring that a patient’s needs and overall quality of life are considered fully before any fibroid treatment. State-of-the-art technology allows us to successfully perform laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy at high volumes.