Drs. Kaylen Silverberg and Thomas Vaughn have been asked to work with the new Texas Institute of Robotic Surgery at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center to evaluate emerging technologies for use in robotic surgery. Robotic surgery provides an advanced alternative to traditional open surgery or laparoscopic surgery for many conditions that can affect fertility, including uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic adhesions.
Drs. Silverberg and Vaughn will find themselves tasked with developing new applications for existing technologies, as well as helping to develop new technologies for the next generation of robotics, specifically employing the Da Vinci system made and sold by Intuitive Surgical (ISRG).
“The Da Vinci robot represents a potential quantum leap forward for endoscopic surgery,” says Dr. Silverberg. “This minimally invasive technique has amazing 3D optics that enables surgeons to accomplish a variety of complex surgical procedures with greater ease and safety. We believe that there are multiple applications for the Da Vinci robot in fertility treatment, and we hope that it will significantly enhance patient care.”
Robotic surgery involves the use of three to four robotic arms that are manipulated by the surgeon from a remote console. One robotic arm contains a camera that magnifies the surgical field to afford the fertility doctor a three dimensional digital image. The other arms utilize specially designed surgical instruments that allow doctors to perform procedures with machine-like precision and dexterity.
While the robot has been employed for routine gynecologic procedures such as hysterectomy for several years, recent advances in technology make it possible for more intricate procedures to be performed with robotics. Emerging technologies, such as those employing lasers for enhanced definition and dissection, hold tremendous promise not just for fertility treatment but also for the treatment of a variety of other benign and cancerous conditions.
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