da Vinci Surgery


What is da Vinci Surgery?

Your doctor may have recommended surgery for a gynecologic cancer diagnosis or another gynecologic condition such as fibroid tumors, endometriosis or a pelvic mass. There are several types of surgery that can be performed:

  • Open surgery that uses an open incision to access the area that is being operated on.
  • Minimally invasive surgery which uses laparascopic technology. This doesn’t require a large open incision but rather makes only a few small incisions where long instruments and a tiny camera are inserted to guide the doctors during the surgery.
  • da Vinci Surgery is also minimally invasive however it uses a special 3-D view of the body combined with special instruments that allow the doctor to see better and have greater control of the instruments.

The gynecologic oncologists at Minnesota Oncology will work with your medical team to select the type of surgery they feel will have the best result in your specific situation. Many times this means using the da Vinci Surgery System for the best potential for positive results.

How is da Vinci Surgery Different?

The da Vinci Surgery System is gynecologic robotic surgery using specialized robotic instruments and a unique 3-D high definition view inside the body. Using only a few small incisions, a thin tube with a tiny camera and a light at the end is inserted along with the surgical tools. The doctor can see clearly inside your body with the high-definition camera and magnification. By watching the monitor the doctor controls the da Vinci surgical instruments. These instruments, which are in the doctor’s control at all times, allow for very precise movements. They can bend and rotate beyond a human wrist’s capabilities for greater precision. Patients who undergo da Vinci surgery typically have a shorter recovery time compared to open surgery.

The picture below shows the doctor sitting at the control system used he/she will use to view inside the body and control the instruments that perform the surgery.  The table to the right is where the patient lies during surgery with the instruments in place, responding to what the doctor is doing.

What Types of Conditions Can be Treated With da Vinci Surgery?

There are a wide variety of conditions that can be operated on using da Vinci surgery including cardiac, head and neck, gynecologic, thoracic and urologic. At Minnesota Oncology the majority of da Vinci surgeries are performed for patients with gynecologic conditions including:

  • Cancer that requires a hysterectomy as part of treatment for cervical cancer, uterine cancer, endometrial cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Fibroid tumor removal (myomectomy)
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic Mass