Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Services
The Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Services program at Lifespan is the state’s only integrated, specialty care service that offers minimally invasive gynecology for women of all ages. With advanced nonsurgical and surgical techniques to restore your quality of life, our team offers a full range of services to address all gynecologic conditions, gynecologic cancers and pelvic floor disorders, with the least amount of trauma and discomfort possible.
Lifespan’s team of specialists in the program offer proven treatments for a variety of conditions, such as:
- Abnormal Pap smears
- Fecal incontinence
- Gynecologic cancer (ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal, vulvar)
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic pain
- Precancerous conditions of female organs
- Severe menstrual cramps
- Urinary incontinence
- Uterine fibroids
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Our center is the only of its kind with interventional radiology specialists who offer uterine artery embolization for nonsurgical management of fibroids, nonsurgical ablation of soft tissue endometriosis, and nonsurgical treatment of pelvic congestion syndrome.
Surgical Treatment Options
Our team of surgeons specializes in minimally invasive treatment for women who have gynecologic conditions. Surgical treatments include vaginal “scar-free” surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robot-assisted surgery. The advantages of these approaches are numerous, and include less post-operative pain, a quicker recovery, less blood loss and scarring, a lower risk of wound infections and a shortened hospital stay.
Minimally invasive surgery is surgery without a large incision. Expected results are shorter recovery times, less blood loss, fewer complications and reduced trauma. Vaginal surgery and laparoscopy are examples of minimally invasive surgery. The newest type of minimally invasive surgery is robot-assisted laparoscopy with the da Vinci Surgical System (da Vinci).
Many patients benefit from procedures that utilize da Vinci, a state-of-the-art technology that helps doctors perform more precise operations than conventional instrumentation allows. da Vinci takes the best techniques of open surgery and applies them to a robot-assisted, minimally invasive approach. The precision and dexterity of da Vinci enables surgeons to perform procedures with smaller incisions and a shorter recovery time for the patient.
Robotic surgery is a type of laparoscopy using a three-dimensional camera and standard surgical instruments with a broad range of motion. Gynecologic surgeons are using robot-assisted surgery to perform a hysterectomy for bleeding or pain, hysterectomy for cancer of the uterus, cervix and ovaries, cancer staging, complex surgeries to remove endometriosis, fibroid removal to preserve fertility, fallopian tube surgery to preserve fertility, and urogynecologic procedures for prolapse and incontinence.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will I stay in the hospital after my robot-assisted surgery?
Most patients are discharged the day after their surgery.
How many scars will I have on my abdomen?
Robotic surgery usually requires three to six incisions measuring less than a half inch each. Some patients may qualify for single-site surgery with only a small 2-inch abdominal incision.
How do I take care of the incisions? Are there staples or stitches?
Incisions are usually closed with “invisible” stitches that dissolve over time. There is nothing that needs to be removed. Incisions will be covered with a surgical glue barrier or surgical tape. Patients can shower and wet the incisions the day after surgery, but should avoid a tub bath for a month.
While using the robot, can the surgeon feel anything inside the patient?
The system relays some force feedback sensations from the surgery site to the surgeon. This is a substitute for tactile sensation.
Does the robot ever stop functioning during surgery?
Reports of malfunction are rare. If a problem occurs, a procedure can be converted to a laparoscopy or traditional abdominal incision.