Newark, NJ --Surgeons at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center are using robotic-assisted technology to successfully treat a number of gynecologic problems for women in the tri-state area.
Using the da Vinci Surgical System, physicians gain an "extra pair of hands" in the operating room, as well as a 3-D view inside the body. An interactive console features robotic arms, which enhance the surgeon's dexterity and range of motion. As a result, damage to delicate nerves, tissue and muscle is greatly reduced. Blood loss, post-operative pain and recovery time are minimized as well.
According to Emad Hashemi, MD, Chief of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at Newark Beth Israel, “Robotic technology is becoming the new gold standard in gynecologic surgery." It is used to perform hysterectomies, for example, and to remove cancerous and benign tumors.
Carmen Reboredo, a West Orange resident and patient of Dr. Hashemi, was recently diagnosed with vaginal wall prolapse. With this condition the muscles and tissues of the vaginal wall lose their shape after childbirth or after a hysterectomy. Mrs. Reboredo was also diagnosed with cystocele, where the bladder drops down and out of its natural position. Urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence often result, as in the case of Mrs. Reboredo.
The 51-year-old mother of two experienced urinary stress incontinence for two years. "I couldn't do the normal things a person does during the day because I had to go to the bathroom constantly," said Mrs. Reboredo. She would have to urinate every hour and wake up five or six times during the night.
Using the da Vinci robotic surgical system, Dr. Hashemi performed a sacral colpopexy, in which the vaginal wall is attached to the lower base of the spine or to the lower abdominal wall. The purpose is to lift the vaginal wall closer to its natural position. He also performed a tension-free vaginal tape sling (TVT sling) urethropexy to alleviate Mrs. Reboredo's incontinence. With this procedure the bladder is lifted back into place with a piece of mesh to stop urine leakage.
The surgery took four hours and was done laparoscopically. Mrs. Reboredo went home the next day.
After two weeks, her symptoms completely subsided. "I feel 100 percent better," she said. "I walk every day, I shop, and I have no problems. I have a normal, relaxed life," she adds.
In the future, Dr. Hashemi believes that robotic-assisted surgery will be a commonly used technology. "It removes surgical limitations, and greatly improves the overall outcome for the patient," he states.
The FDA approved robotic surgery for gynecology in 2005. The technology has been used at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for the last two and one-half years.
For more information contact the Department of Urogynecology at 973-926-7342. The division of Urogynecology is part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, which provides comprehensive care for women of all ages. In addition to urogynecology, the department has specialists in reproductive endocrinology, maternal-fetal medicine, and gynecologic oncology.
Date: January 16, 2008
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