Meet the Robot: da Vinci® Surgical System Instruments & Capabilities

Using the most current robotics technology, the minimally invasive da Vinci Surgical System® enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through the tiniest of incisions. The revolutionary da Vinci® robot gives surgeons superior vision, precision, dexterity and control. For people who are unfamiliar with robot-assisted surgery, Houston-area gynecological surgeon Michele Blackwell, MD, FACOG presents an introduction to da Vinci® instruments and capabilities.

The da Vinci Surgical System® consists of several key components:

  • Ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating
  • Patient-side cart where the patient lays during surgery
  • Four interactive robotic arms
  • High-definition 3D vision system
  • Specially designed wrist instruments.

da Vinci® uses state-of-the-art robotic technology that allows for scaling of surgeon hand movements. The system filters and translates the typical surgeon hand movements into precise, micro-versions of movements of the instruments inside the patient’s body. Many common surgical procedures, such as hysterectomies, have been revolutionized by this new minimally invasive technology.

Surgeon Console

Using the da Vinci Surgical System®, the surgeon operates while seated comfortably at a console where he or she can view, in high definition, a 3D image of the inside of the patient’s body. Below the display, the surgeon’s fingers grasp the master controls with hands and wrists naturally positioned in line with his or her eyes. This system enables the robot to seamlessly translate the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, realtime movements of surgical instruments.

Patient-side Cart

During surgery, the patient lies on the patient-side cart–it includes either three or four robotic arms that carry out the commands of the surgeon. The robotic arms move around fixed pivot points which:

  • Reduce trauma to the patient
  • Improve the cosmetic outcome
  • Increase overall surgical precision

The da Vinci® system does not eliminate the need for your doctor’s presence; rather, it enhances her surgical capabilities. Your da Vinci® surgeon directly controls each and every surgical maneuver. Repeated safety checks prevent any independent movement of the instruments or robotic arms.

3-D High Definition Vision System

The da Vinci Surgical System® utilizes a 3-dimensional vision system to deliver high-resolution video into the viewer located at the surgeon console. This provides your surgeon with visual sharpness of greater acuity than ever before available.

As the surgeon operates, the da Vinci® vision system displays high definition video in 3D for true perception of depth. This means that your surgeon’s visual capabilities are greatly enhanced. The totally immersive quality of the 3D experience permits a virtual extension of the surgeon’s hands and eyes into the patient’s body.

Benefits for Patients

The cutting edge, innovative da Vinci® system offers a number of important benefits for patients, including:

  • Less post-surgical pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Faster return to normal daily activity
  • Fewer complications
  • Less bleeding and decreased need for blood transfusions
  • Fewer post surgical infections

For da Vinci® surgeons, the minimally invasive robot-assisted system enables better precision, control and vastly superior outcomes. For da Vinci® patients, this means you get better faster…all with almost no visible scarring. Your gynecologist can explain more about your surgical options and whether robotic surgery is right for you.

Mirena® IUD: Safe & Easy Birth Control for Sexually Active Adolescents

Sexual experimentation and sexual activity is a normal part of adolescence. Unfortunately, for many young adults, practicing reliable birth control methods like the Mirena® IUD is not as widespread. Let’s face it, adolescents aren’t typically known for their foresight or good judgment. If they were, they would never show up late for class or miss their curfews–also normal for teens.

Mitigate Consequences of Poor Judgment and Sexual Activity

When it comes to sexual activity, however, the consequences of poor judgment can prove far more serious than detention or getting grounded for coming home late. An intrauterine contraceptive device such as the Mirena® IUD can provide a safeguard for women—of all ages—and provide peace-ofmind, just in case things don’t go as planned.

Long Acting Reversible Contraception

Many millions of American adolescents put themselves at risk for early, unplanned pregnancies each year, underscoring the importance of easy-touse and effective long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Even though family planning experts as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend the intrauterine device (IUD) as a firstline option for contraception among teens, less than 3% of adult American women use IUDs and an even lower percentage of teens use them.

Misconceptions about IUDs among patients, parents, and health care providers may result in missed opportunities to choose this underutilized contraception for a high-risk population. When used properly, the Mirena® IUD offers a safe, reliable, and effective contraceptive device for gynecology patients of all ages.

How Does the Mirena® IUD work?

Among the most well researched and easiest to use IUDs available today is the Mirena® IUD. Mirena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) is a soft, flexible IUD inserted into the uterus by your gynecologist. The IUD releases small amounts of hormone in a timed-release manner with minimal complications and little discomfort. Mirena® provides dependable birth control that lasts up to 5 years and does not interfere with future reproductive capabilities when women decide that the time is right. Benefits of the Mirena® IUD include:

  • More than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy
  • You can try to become pregnant as soon as the doctor removes the IUD device
  • Treats heavy periods in women who choose intrauterine contraception

Keep in mind that the Mirena® IUD, and all other IUDs, offers no protection against sexually transmitted disease (STD). People with more than one sexual partner, or whose exclusive partner has an STD, should use a condom in addition to the IUD or other non-barrier contraceptives.

No parent likes to think about her teen engaging in sexual activity. But, the fact remains, a considerable number of teens do engage in intercourse. For adolescents, the Mirena® IUD provides a sensible and medically sound contraception option. For young adult women, it offers reliable birth control as well as peace of mind, so they can enjoy being young (responsibly). Have a frank discussion with your gynecologist about using this safe and easy to use method of contraception.