In June of 2014, my surgeon opted to perform a robotic laparoscopic surgery to remove the cysts from my ovaries. Little did we know, the surgery would progress into an excision surgery to remove Endometriosis implants that we didn’t know existed inside. A traditional laparoscopic surgery is performed through a rather large incision in your abdomen, while robotic is done through small “ports” (incisions) where robotic tools are inserted and the doctor operates at a remote station, controlling the wee robotic arms. AND there’s pictures!
The surgeon’s plan was to go through my bellybutton, extending it a little bit with a small incision, remove the cysts, and close up my bellybutton (a single incision laparascopy). Voila: done. However, it was discussed that he may need to open up multiple ports if things “weren’t as they seemed” once inside (the middle image below). Which is exactly what needed to be done. The robotic surgery avoided the traditional, large incision (first image below).
It was amazing being wheeled into the operating room and there’s this gigantic robotic spider looming in the room. And the surgical staff, nurses, and anesthesiologist were all light-humored and it was a phenomenal experience falling asleep. Not so phenomenal after we were home and the drugs wore off…but…that’s besides the point.
What IS the point, you ask? I ramble!
I find it absolutely incredibly amazing that surgeons can operate on someone who is lying down on a table, while the surgeon is seated further away, looking through a viewfinder, with tiny little controls operating even tinier little robotic arms inside my belly! Surgeons can even do this remotely : for example, doctors in New York performed an hour-long surgery on a 68-year-old patient in France. Tiny Little Robot Arms! Amazing!!
It’s been almost five months since surgery. My bellybutton still isn’t normal (I don’t expect it ever will be) and I love my wee tiny port scar on my right hip. It was not an easy recovery, but if I ever do need to go back in for excision surgery or a hysterectomy, I will certainly be insisting on the robotic version! Dr. Mel Kurtulus is a brilliant surgeon and he genuinely cares about his patients.
Now, if they could just perfect the procedure of having to inflate our abdomens with Carbon Dioxide, that would a huge improvement. Not only is the bloating unbearable, but the shoulder and rib pain caused by the gas and dying nerves is completely the worst pain I’ve ever been in. More info on that can be found here.
Remember…robots are our friends.