Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecology
In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved robotic surgery for the treatment of gynecological disorders, including hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) and myomectomies (removal of uterine fibroids).
At The James, our surgeons who specialize in gynecologic oncology were among the first nationwide to be certified to perform minimally-invasive robotic surgery on patients with gynecologic cancer. Today, we are one of the leading hospitals in the country for robotic gynecologic cancer surgery and perform more of these procedures than any other Ohio hospital.
As pioneers in the use of robotics for gynecologic cancer procedures, our expert surgeons have worked closely with Ohio State researchers to publish additional studies related to minimally-invasive robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers.
Our expertise extends to robotic surgical treatment of benign gynecologic conditions as well, such as ovarian fibroids and other gynecologic abnormalities, pelvic pain and incontinence.
The robotic platform allows our gynecologic surgeons to perform a major procedure in a minimally-invasive fashion. Just a few small incisions, rather than a major incision, are needed to accommodate the miniaturized robotic instruments and tiny camera inserted in the patient’s abdomen. These are still major operative procedures, but performed through small incisions so they result in much less blood loss, pain and scarring, and less risk of infection than conventional surgery.
Our team is committed to improving patient care for both cancer-related and benign gynecologic surgeries.
Gynecologic Oncology Procedures
Approximately 40,000 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer in the U.S. each year. Most of these women will need a major surgery that includes a hysterectomy and lymph node dissection or lymphadenectomy, needed for staging and guidance about post-operative treatment decisions. Some women will need a radical hysterectomy, a more aggressive form of hysterectomy used in the treatment of cervical cancer. Most of these major procedures have been performed through a large incision in the abdomen, but robotic surgery is now a viable and much less invasive option.
Endometrial or uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy. In our experience, the great majority of these patients are eligible for robotic surgery. Also, patients with early stage cervical and ovarian cancer are eligible for robotic-assisted, minimally-invasive surgery. Robotic procedures are available for:
- Hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy for uterine cancer
- Radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy for cervical cancer
- Removal of ovary (or ovaries) with or without hysterectomy, lymphadenectomy and staging for ovarian cancer
- Hysterectomy and removal of ovaries as risk-reduction surgery in patients at risk for gynecologic cancer
- Removal of ovary or ovarian cyst in patient with a pelvic mass
- Hysterectomy for pre-cancerous lesions of cervix or uterus.
Approximately 600,000 women undergo hysterectomies for reasons not related to cancer in the U.S. each year. The great majority of these patients undergo traditional open abdominal surgery or laparotomy (70-80%). Many of these patients would benefit from robotic surgery because it’s much less invasive and provides many advantages over open surgery.
- Hysterectomy for patients with benign gynecologic abnormalities
- Hysterectomy as a risk-reducing surgical option for those patients with BRCA genetic mutations who are at high risk for ovarian cancer
- Myomectomy for the removal of uterine fibroids
- Sacral Colpopexy or pelvic organ prolapsed. We are national leaders in the use of robotics for this complex procedure, which is the gold standard for the correction of uterine and post-hysterectomy prolapse and is traditionally performed through a major incision.
- Urinary incontinence – often performed at the same time through the same incisions used for the primary robotic surgery.