What is Myomectomy?
Myomectomy is the surgical removal of uterine fibroids, the most common pelvic tumor of the female genitals. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed that they may develop from the repeated division of a single stem cell in the muscular tissue of the uterus finally producing a dense elastic-like mass. Clinical research and experience link hormones, genetic alterations, and family history to the condition.
The development and grown of uterine fibroids vary, some growing slowly, others having surges of growth, some remaining the same size or shrinking on their own. After pregnancy, fibroids will often become smaller or vanish as your uterus returns to its normal size.
Myomectomy leaves the uterus in place, making it the preferred treatment for fibroids if you wish to become pregnant. Methods of myomectomy include:
- Hysteroscopy, in which a slender lighted tube is inserted into your vagina to examine and remove fibroids on your uterus’s inner wall
- Laparoscopy, in which special tools with a camera attached are inserted through several tiny incisions in your abdomen to remove fibroids on the outside of your uterus
- Laparotomy, in which a large incision is made in your abdomen to remove large and numerous fibroids deep in your uterus wall
- Robotic myomectomy, the most minimally invasive method to remove your fibroids
What is Robotic Myomectomy?
In 2005, the Federal Drug Administration approved the minimally invasive robotic da Vinci® Surgical System for use in the field of gynecology, enhancing the efficiency, accuracy, ease, and comfort in countless of laparoscopic procedures, including myomectomy.
The advent of a robotic alternative meant that surgeons could perform procedures such as myomectomy precisely and accurately through tiny incisions, with the added benefits of heightened vision, 3-dimensional imaging and enhanced dexterity far superior to other methods.
Although not all cases requiring myomectomy are suitable for robotic surgery, for many women it provides the least invasive and most effective treatment. Today it is routinely recommended for uterine fibroids small in size and/or number that cause persistent pain or heavy bleeding.
The potential benefits of robotic myomectomy include:
- Preservation of the uterus, meaning the possibility of future pregnancy
- Significantly less pain
- Shorter recovery time
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less blood loss, meaning less chance of needing a transfusion
- Less scarring
- A faster return to normal daily activities
The most important factor in the success of robotic myomectomy is the surgeon’s experience and skill in using the robotic system.
Although the rate of complications of robotic myomectomy is low, the risk increases with the conditions of diabetes, obesity, prior heart or lung disease, previous abdominal or pelvic surgery, or high alcohol consumption.
Potential complications, though unlikely, include excessive blood loss and infection.
When Considering Robotic Myomectomy
There is a chance that your fibroids could reoccur after your robotic myomectomy. Discuss this, along with your expectations regarding your outcome with your physician. Your current health will influence the success of the procedure and your recovery. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks for your situation.