Innovative Treatments That Give Women More Options

Robot-assisted surgery offers advantages for women compared to traditional surgery

by Anupam Garg, Gynecologist and Robotic Surgeon

Women’s health is a complex and highly individualized medical specialty. Each woman comes to me with her own health concerns, medical history and personal treatment needs. As a gynecologist, I take all of these factors into consideration when recommending treatment options.

As a physician and surgeon, I’m fortunate to be able to offer my patients a wide variety of options and leading-edge treatments.

Surgery and gynecologic conditions

When medication and noninvasive procedures are unable to relieve symptoms, surgery remains the accepted and most effective treatment for a wide range of gynecologic conditions, including cervical cancerand uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and excessive uterine bleeding.

Many conditions affecting the uterus are treated with a hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus. While a hysterectomy is often the preferred treatment for symptoms such as chronic pain and bleeding, life-threatening conditions such as cancer or uncontrollable bleeding in the uterus often necessitate a hysterectomy and follow-up treatment.

Traditional open gynecologic surgery, which typically requires a large incision for access to the uterus and the surrounding anatomy, has been the standard approach to many gynecologic procedures for many years.

However, with open surgery, patients often experience significant pain, trauma, a long recovery process and threat to surrounding organs and nerves. For women facing gynecologic surgery, the pain, discomfort and extended time away from normal daily activities that usually follow can understandably cause significant anxiety.

Robot-assisted surgery results in less scarring and blood loss

Fortunately, less invasive options are available, and many women are good candidates for minimally invasive robotic gynecologic surgery. Most robot-assisted surgeries use the state-of-the-art da Vinci surgical system, which is designed to help the surgeon perform a procedure with unmatched precision and control, and only a few small incisions.

Some of the additional benefits include increased range of motion, improved dexterity, enhanced visualization and improved access. These attributes help us perform more complex surgical procedures than can be accomplished by traditional laparoscopic surgery.

Robot-assisted surgery also offers better visualization of the anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder.

When compared to traditional surgeries, robot-assisted surgery results in less scarring, less blood loss, shorter hospitalization and a quicker recovery. Robot-assisted surgery is performed through tiny incisions of one to two centimeters that cause minimal impact to the surrounding area.

Patients are often able to go home after a very short stay in the hospital, and many women report little or no significant pain after surgery. The faster recovery time allows them to get back on their feet and back to their daily activities sooner, often in a matter of days.

Although the Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program is on the forefront of medical technology, the human touch is the primary focus of patient care. A team of experts work together to provide comprehensive care that is individualized to each patient’s specific needs.

The health and comfort of my patients are very important to me, and I’m fortunate to be able to give them an option that helps improve their quality of life, as well as get them back to it sooner.

About Dr. Garg

Anupam Garg, M.D., received his medical degree and his master’s degree in public health at New York Medical College. He completed an internship and a residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he received awards for Best Teaching Resident and for Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures.

Dr. Garg is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures, including laparoscopy and robotic surgery for treating benign tumors of the uterus and ovaries (including uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts), as well as for endometriosis, pelvic pain and abnormal uterine bleeding.