Robotic surgery options for women

Dr. David Samadi offers precious insights on the robotic surgery technique, outlining the various benefits of this modern approach.

Robotic techniques are being applied in medicine for a long time now and their usefulness is growing more and more. Now, women-specific health problems can be treated by means of robotic surgery.

Here is a short Fox News Interview with Dr. David Samadi and Dr. Mark Siegel explaining how robotic techniques are being used in many medical fields.

Fox News Interviewer – Back now, Sunday Housecall! There are new surgical options for women. Some physicians are saying that robotic-assisted surgery offers a number of advantages for patients. Dr. Samadi, you’ve got a lot of experience in this. What is going on to help women in terms of surgery?

Dr. David Samadi – Eric, this is a very exciting time in medicine. Besides the technology, we’ve done obviously this robotic surgery for prostate cancer and that worked really well. 11-12 years ago when I was in Paris and we started doing robotic surgery, you never thought that you would sit here and the patient is about 10 feet away and as you move the hands here, the instruments move inside the patient’s abdomen. That was like a really eye-opening experience when I was doing my training. Today, you see that robotic surgery coming here for women. So all the hysterectomies, the removal of the uterus for cancer, fibroids which cause a lot of pelvic pain and difficult menses. All of these are being done now with the robot. The reason why robotic technology works for this or daVinci surgery is that we’re working in a very narrow pelvic space.

Fox News Interviewer – We’re looking at it right now!

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

Dr. David Samadi – Yes! Those are my nurses, this is my team that is always standing behind me. I am standing at a distance away but of course, you need to have a team. The reason why this works is that you can visualize things better, there is no incision, there is no blood loss. There are basically tiny little holes that we enter and put the instruments but there is no cut. So patients get home early, they get back to work and since there is no blood loss like in open surgery you can really see the field. In my field of prostate cancer, you can see the nerves, you can see the outcome and as far as sexual function and continence are concerned we see that for women it works really well.

Dr. Mark Siegel – Jamie, the key thing is how do I decide as an internist if I’m going to send somebody for a robotic procedure? By the way, David has had trained some of the people in this country that are doing it for women as well. This is because he is an Expert in Robotics. The answer is strangely when they studied it for women hysterectomies or myomectomies – is when you take out fibroids – they found out that it can take a longer time in the operating room and it can be more expensive. Do you know why that is? Because not everyone is having David’s training. David has done 4.000 cases (2016) so if you’ are a patient looking to see if you have this procedure which has obvious advantages – higher magnification, you can get to places you could not get to otherwise, quicker healing time, you get out of the hospital faster, you don’t have that big wound, no bleeding. But when would you do it though? You gotta have someone who is an artist, who has the experience, that knows what they’re doing, who has done a number of cases and has good results. 

Talking to your doctor about robotic surgery

Fox News Interviewer – But how do you do it? If I go to the doctor, what should I ask the doctor about surgery?

Dr. Mark Siegel – Well, the first thing you need to ask is whether it is necessary to do it that way and then you ask “ Do you know a doctor who has a ton of experience and how do I prove that?

Dr.David Samadi – Experience really matters and if somebody can use their hands, what we used to call tactile feedback or touch is the way to go as we did in open surgery years ago. If you can translate your experience and now bring the technology and combine them, Eric, that’s when you have the magic. So the question you should be asking your doctor is “What is your experience? How many cases do you do?”

Fox News Interviewer – What is the right number of how many cases?

Dr. David Samadi – I think it is case dependent. I think for prostate cancer you should do hundreds of thousands. You want to go to the most experienced guy, someone who performs an entire case himself. If the surgeon is going from room to room and it’s only there for part of the operation that is not the good operating room to be with. Find out what the complications are, do you have a technique and what are the side effects? Everyone that does, for example, robotic prostate surgery, may have different types of techniques and so and so. So, I really think that is the experience of the surgeon that matters. 

Fox News Interviewer – One last question before we go. Could this be used for brain surgery ultimately robotics?

Dr. David Samadi – It will go on to other modalities, but right now because it is not a lot of room in the pelvic area, for prostate or for uterus, this works really well. You have a full range of motion with a robot and you can use the camera. Look, when we used to do open surgery, you can’t put your head under the pelvic bone to see. Now, you can really see beautiful and that is why men and women out there would benefit from the advantage of this.


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