da vinci surgical robot

New robot could help with prolapse treatment recovery

A robot has been called in to deal with prolapse patients, thanks to a new system called the Da Vinci, but it might not be the ultimate answer.

The Da Vinci system used a 3D vision system and instruments that can be inserted through six tiny incisions, rather than one large one. With enhanced vision and the extended reach of the instruments, the doctor can work much less invasively, with less blood loss and the early signs are encouraging, with recovery times slashed. It has been used in a variety of surgical procedures on 1.5 million patients around the world, but prolapse treatment is a new application.

Prolapse surgery can be a major event, especially if the organs have fallen severely out of place or the pelvic floor muscles have given way to a significant extent. Patients often stay in hospital for a week or more following surgery, but with the new technique they have been discharged after one or two days and have not reported significant pain.

The robot-assisted surgery is generally considered more suitable for young, more active women. There is potential for the new techniques to be adopted across the industry, though, and for prolapse surgery to become a lot less of an ordeal in the years ahead.

Alternatively, patients who have suffered a prolapse can sometimes opt for sacrohysteropexy, which is a procedure that repositions the uterus. This radical option can save the uterus completely and allow women to go on to have more children with no further risk of a prolapse. In the UK, Mr Jonathan Broome is considered one of the foremost experts in this alternative surgery, which he has helped to develop, and has helped a number of women avoid the pain of a full hysterectomy. With more than 1,000 patients treated and a 100% success rate, Broome’s alternative to the Da Vinci method has more than its share of converts.

The Da Vinci method is an exciting new prospect in the world of prolapse surgery and in many cases it will certainly help patients through the ordeal as painlessly as possible. It might not be the first port of call, though, and sufferers should be aware of the options before choosing a particular type of surgery.

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