Robotic-Assisted Surgery: Hysterectomies Have Come a Long Way

Robotic-Assisted Surgery: Hysterectomies Have Come a Long Way

Not long ago, women only had one option when they needed a hysterectomy: open surgery. But hysterectomies have come a long way. Today you can undergo a hysterectomy with robotic-assisted surgery.

When you have robotic-assisted hysterectomy, our team at Tahoe Women’s Care combines compassionate care, surgical expertise, and cutting-edge technology to reduce your risk of complications and promote a quick recovery.

Reasons you may need a hysterectomy

A hysterectomy — the partial or complete removal of your uterus — may be the first line of treatment for gynecologic cancers, but it’s the last treatment considered for noncancerous health problems.

Dr. Willen may recommend a hysterectomy when conservative measures don’t relieve symptoms caused by conditions such as:

These problems can all be treated with a minimally invasive, robotic-assisted hysterectomy.

Minimally invasive surgery vs traditional open surgery

Open surgery is a good description of traditional surgery because it’s performed through one long incision that’s 5-8 inches long. The long incision is needed to create an opening that’s large enough to manually access the uterus.

Open surgery increases your risk of bleeding and other complications, keeps you in the hospital 2-3 days, and demands 4-6 weeks of limiting your activities while you heal and recover.

By comparison, minimally invasive surgery uses 2-6 small incisions, depending on the type of hysterectomy being performed. Each incision is only one-quarter to one-half inch long. The procedure is done using specialized instruments contained in narrow tubes that fit through the small openings.

Minimally invasive surgery is often called laparoscopy because the key instrument is a laparoscope. The laparoscope contains lighting and a tiny camera that sends magnified images to a monitor, giving your surgeon a clear view of the surgical site.

The surgical tools are inserted through the other small incisions, then they’re controlled by the surgeon, who manually manipulates the tool from outside your body while viewing the procedure on the monitor.

Since your body doesn’t experience the trauma created by an open incision, minimally invasive surgery has important health benefits:

Minimally invasive surgery represents a big leap forward in medical science, but that’s not where the advancements end. Your gynecological care has come even further with robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery.

How robotic-assisted surgery works

Dr. Willen is an expert in robotic-assisted surgery using the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System. With the da Vinci system, your minimally invasive hysterectomy is performed with enhanced precision and dexterity. Here’s how it works:

The da Vinci system has three primary pieces of equipment. One piece holds the image-processing equipment, while the second part contains the surgical components, including interactive robotic arms that hold the laparoscope and surgical tools.

Dr. Willen sits at the third piece, the surgeon’s console. From here he views the surgical site on a screen and uses highly specialized hand and wrist controls that transmit his movements to the robotic arms.


The surgeon’s console gives Dr. Willen the ability to operate as though he’s holding the tools and standing right next to you, just as he would during open surgery. Being able to sit during surgery is a great advantage because it reduces fatigue and promotes better coordination between hands and vision.

Benefits of da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery

The da Vinci system is the perfect complement to Dr. Willen’s expertise. With the robotic-assisted arms, Dr. Willen can perform surgery in hard-to-reach areas while causing minimal stress to the surrounding tissues.

Your hysterectomy is safer thanks to the da Vinci’s technology, such as:

Better visualization

The da Vinci’s imaging technology provides 3D and high-definition images, as well as zoom capabilities that deliver extreme visual clarity and the ability to see small details.

Enhanced dexterity

The narrow robotic arms controlled by Dr. Willen are built with fingertip control and a range of motion that exceeds the human hand.

EndoWrist™ instruments

These robotic instruments transform Dr. Willen’s wrist, hand, and fingers into tiny surgical instruments capable of working inside body spaces that are too small to easily accommodate a human hand.

Exceptional precision and control

When enhanced dexterity is combined with technology called motion scaling, which eliminates the normal physiological tremors in the human hand, the robotic instruments can perfectly execute Dr. Willen’s hand motions better than the hand alone.

When you face a hysterectomy, you can rely on Dr. Willen’s experience using the da Vinci Surgical System. Call our office in Carson City, Nevada, to learn more about robotic-assisted hysterectomy or click the button to book your appointment online.


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