Robots can be a girl's best friend
5/5/2015 3:33 PM
Aging gracefully? Healthy living will add joy and longevity to your life, but it might not ward off the need for gynecological surgery at some point. Dr. Teresa Irwin, board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) of The Caring Center for Women, notes that 25 percent of women will end up with surgery for a gynecological issue involving the pelvic floor.
“Since the fastest growing population is the 85 and older set, these surgeries will continue to be important for women and their quality of life,” Irwin said.
Procedures might include surgeries to correct dropping or prolapse of the uterus, prolapse of the bladder, rectum or vagina; as well as surgery for incontinence. Other gynecologic surgeries that are of significant importance (but not necessarily strictly for pelvic floor problems), include cervical surgery, fibroid removal, tubal ligations and hysterectomies. In fact, one third of U.S. women have a hysterectomy by age 60.
If you and your doctor are discussing a gynecological surgery, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive robotic surgery. Using the da Vinci System, your surgeon makes a few small incisions (sometimes only one) and uses a magnified 3D HD vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate with more dexterity than the human wrist. These features enable surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control.
Before robotic surgery was introduced in 2005, more than 60 percent of hysterectomies were done using a large open incision which left a large scar, great discomfort and lengthy hospital stays. Today 80 percent of hysterectomies are performed with robotic instruments. Dr. Irwin notes, “When you consider the experience my patients have now with robotic surgery, it’s a clear benefit for them to enjoy minimal scarring, less pain and a much faster recovery.”
Teresa Irwin, MD, FACOG, FPMRS
Dr. Irwin is a board certified gynecologist and a Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon. She is certified in da Vinci robotic assisted surgery, laser vaginal rejuvination and designer laser vaginoplasty. She currently practices at the Caring Center for Women in San Marcos and New Braunfels, Texas.