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Robotic operations in gynecology

Professor Dr. Ingolf Juhasz-Böss  – Medical Director of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg describes his experience with the Da Vinci Robot.

We use this technology primarily on patients with malignant diseases of the uterus, primarily cervical cancer and endometrial cancer. We also apply it in the case of benign diseases of the uterus, here primarily in the form of uterine removals. These are the so-called endoscopic total hysterectomies.

This certainly comprises the majority of patients. In addition to the gentle and minimally invasive option of removing the uterus by the robot, we also have the great advantage of performing the so-called sentinel lymph node removal.

The robot is very well suited for this because we cannot only assess the abdomen in the classic way with white light, but are also able to see ‘colored pictures’ with so-called fluorescence optics.

This way we can specifically mark the so-called sentinel lymph nodes and then remove only those in a really gentle and selective manner. This saves many patients from having to have so-called radical lymph node removal, which is associated with significantly more side effects or morbidity, as we call it.

This means that in addition to the gentle access route using robots, we can certainly also offer the gentle so-called sentinel lymph node removal for these diseases. What we can tell the patients when we operate them with the robot is that it is certainly one of the most gentle surgical procedures we can offer at this point.

We are one of the leading clinics in Germany and especially here in the region when it comes to endoscopic surgical procedures. We are proven experts in the field of laparoscopy. In the last few years we have increasingly performed all operations in gynecology using minimally invasive methods. In addition to conventional laparoscopy or classic minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery, the robot now enables us to operate even more gently, to operate even more precisely. This allows us as surgeons to get a so-called 3D view of the abdomen and thus makes the operation even safer.

With regard to robot training, it should be mentioned again that we at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology are one of the few leading university training clinics for endoscopic surgery. The robot also plays an important role here. In addition to the training and teaching of our own medical staff, we also pass on the knowledge we have gained to specialists in the region and beyond.