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Robotic Hysterectomy

Published: Dec. 19, 2005 at 6:20 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2006 at 10:21 PM CST
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By age 60 one third of American women have a hysterectomy...an operation to remove the uterus.
One Ark-La-Tex doctor is doing the procedure in a new, minimally invasive way that's helping women to recover faster.
And he's using a robot to do it.
When a conservative procedure to treat her fibroids didn't work...Sheryl Cole knew she needed a hysterectomy.
What she didn't need was the pain and recovery time.
Her doctor told her she had to have an abdominal hysterectomy which typically requires a 3 or 4 day stay in the hospital.
Sheryl says "I was like I don't want to be in the hospital for 3 or 4 days. I want to go home. I have dogs. You're just more comfortable at your home."
That's where Doctor Antonio Pizarro and the DaVinci Robot come in.
Dr Pizzarro says, "You sit here like a video game and you control what happens to the patient."
Doctor Pizarro performed the first robotic assisted hysterectomy in the four-state area on Sheryl last month.
He says, "In her specific case because of the size of her uterus, because of her specific medical history, because oh her specific anatomy, the only other options would've been to make a large incision."
Instead Doctor Pizarro made six small incisions and removed Sheryl's uterus through her belly button.
Sheryl says "I had surgery on Monday and I went home on Tuesday."
Besides a shorter hospital stay patients have less pain and recover much faster...because the robot mimics the moves of the surgeon more precisely than with typical laparoscopic surgery.
Dr Pizarro says, "With the robot the surgeries are so much easier, so much more controlled, better visually than routine laparoscopy."
Doctor Pizarro says with the robot thousands of women like Sheryl can now get safe minimally invasive hysterectomies
And without a large incision...they're back on their feet in less time.
Sheryl,"Really after two weeks you're feeling pretty good."
Doctor Pizarro says the robot can be used for any gynecological procedure that might require an abdominal incision.