The incisions may be tiny but what surgeons are able to do with the da Vinci robot is enormous. "The da Vinci can be used for different types of surgery," says Dr. Kevin Fleishman, an Ob/Gyn on the Lee Memorial Health System medical staff.
Physicians use the da Vinci robot at HealthPark to remove prostate cancer, fix the heart, and perform gynecological surgeries. "It can be used for hysterectomies. It can be used for myomectomies as well as certain types of prolapse procedures."
Before this robotic technology, large incisions were made to remove uterine fibroids in a myemectomy procedure. Now, surgeons can find these non-cancerous growths by maneuvering these small robotic hands through tiny incisions. "It can also treat advanced stage gynecologic cancers. I think more than half of gynecologic cancers in the United States are treated using the da Vinci system," adds Dr. Fleishman.
Another issue many women face: uterine prolapse. That's when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken which can cause the uterus to shift. "That procedure is quite technical and we're dealing with large blood vessels so most of the time its done open. But now, with the da Vinci, it can be done through tiny little holes."
Dr. Fleishman is one of just a few Ob/Gyns who are treating patients with the da Vinci robot. Patients experience very little pain and very little scarring thanks to the small incisions.