There are many different surgeries and there are many surgeries that involve cancer. Historically surgery involved lengthy hospital stays, large scars and a great deal of pain. This is certainly true with cancer surgery and true with both general and gynecologic oncology.
However, recently there has been a major breakthrough in surgery called “robotic surgery.” In robotic surgery the surgeons sits at a console and uses the “mechanical hands” of a robot. These surgeries are more precise because the surgeon has the “surgical field” in front of them that only technology can provide in contrast to the limitations of the human eye. To start with, the opening for robotic surgery is less then six millimeters which is about the size of a pencil eraser. What this has done is reduce the recovery period of three to five day to “next day release”. Robotic procedures treat cancers of the pelvis, uterus, ovaries, cervix and many more.
I had a personal experience in a form of robotic surgery in the early 90’s. It had been discovered that the gallbladder could be removed through a tube. Prior to that time gallbladder surgery was considered one of the most painful surgeries. Further the recovery period was incredibly long and during the recovery period the patient was very limited in their activities. In fact the surgery was such a major event that at time lithotripsy was sometimes used to try and crush them. However there was a major danger of reoccurrence and also a piece of a stone might get caught in the bile duct which could cause death.
I was so fearful of the surgery that I put it off for nearly five years. During that time this new procedure was discovered. The surgeon would flatten the gallbladder and pull it through a straw-like instrument and the person was discharged the next day.
I was released the next day although my recovery took about three weeks. Usually a person that had this surgery would have a large abdominal scar I had just three small holes. I can honestly say I had little to no pain.
While we are primarily discussing robotic surgery I would like to remind you always to get a second opinion if you are concerned about surgery. That was how I ended up with a better operation.
There is no doubt that robotic surgery will continue to grow and doctors will become more reliant on technology because it gives them an edge on how they can view the surgical field,
“New Weapon in the Fight Against Cancer: Robotic Surgery,” Article, “Simply Women,” May 2010