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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

The Condition: Early Stage Gynecologic Cancer

Patient Story

Debra Johnson, robotic-assisted surgery patient“I was on my feet and able to go home the day after my surgery. I was tired but literally pain-free.” —  Debra Johnson, Stanislaus County, CA

Read Debra's full story 

Related Information

Meet the Surgeons

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Edwin A. Alvarez, M.D.

Edwin A. Alvarez, M.D.

Gynecologic Oncology

 

Michael W. Chu, M.D.

Michael W. Chu, M.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

 

Gary S. Leiserowitz, M.D.

Gary S. Leiserowitz, M.D.

Gynecologic Oncology

 

Bahareh M. Nejad, M.D.

Bahareh M. Nejad, M.D.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

 

Stacey J. Wallach, M.D.

Stacey J. Wallach, M.D.

Urogynecology

 

Salim A. Wehbe , M.D.

Salim A. Wehbe , M.D.

Urogynecology

 

Appointments and Referrals

Care closer to home

At our Placer Center for Health and our affiliate cancer centers in Marysville and Merced, many of our patients are able to receive some or all of their treatment close to home while remaining under the care of UC Davis specialists.

New patient appointments and referrals

To make an appointment, please call (916) 734-6941 or (800) 362-5566.



The Treatment: Robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy

Female anatomyA wide variety of gynecologic cancers can affect a woman’s reproductive system, which consists of the uterus, vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. The most common types of gynecologic cancers are cervical, endometrial (uterine) and ovarian cancer.  The treatment options are dependent on the specific type of cancer, its stage (how advanced it is), and the patient’s overall medical condition.  In general, patients with early stage cancer (cancer limited to the organ where it started) have the most treatment options and the highest likelihood of cure.  Patients with early stage cancer are commonly cured by surgery alone.

Women with early stage cancer of the uterus and/or cervix are often treated with a hysterectomy – the surgical removal of the uterus.  During such an operation, the surgeon may also remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes and/or select lymph nodes. Hysterectomy is the second-most common surgical procedure for women in the United States, and an estimated one third of all U.S. women will have a hysterectomy by age 60.

Robotic-assisted hysterectomy

incision comparison for open surgery vs. robotic-assisted hysterectomyIf your doctor recommends hysterectomy, you may be a candidate for a robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, a highly effective, minimally invasive option for a range of uterine conditions. At UC Davis, we have gynecologic oncologists (surgeons who specialize in the treatment of gynecological cancers) who are skilled in performing hysterectomies using the da Vinci™ Surgical System. This robotic system enables surgeons to operate with remarkable precision and control — using only a few small incisions.

For many patients, a minimally invasive hysterectomy using the robotic system can offer numerous potential benefits over traditional approaches to vaginal or open abdominal hysterectomy — particularly when performing more challenging procedures like a radical hysterectomy for gynecologic cancer.

Benefits to patients

Potential benefits include:

  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A faster return to normal daily activities

Additionally, studies suggest that the robotic-assisted system provides surgeons with a superior tool that allows for the precise removal of lymph nodes during cancer operations, when compared to traditional open or minimally invasive approaches. The robotic system also allows your surgeon better visualization of the anatomy, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder, blood vessels and other internal organs. This allows robotically trained surgeons to perform radical cancer surgeries and help overcome challenges associated with adhesions from previous operations.

As with any surgery, the benefits cannot be guaranteed. Successful outcomes depend on both the patient and the procedure. While a robotic-assisted radical hysterectomy and related procedures are considered safe and effective, the technique may not be appropriate for every individual. You should always discuss all the treatment options with your physician to understand the risks and benefits.