When it comes to any surgery, it’s important to understand the procedure before determining with your doctor whether it’s the right option for you. With some cases of ovarian cancer, an increasingly popular option for ovarian cancer is robotic assisted surgery, which uses small instruments to operate through very small incisions.
In this minimally invasive procedure, rather than a surgeon opening up a patient’s entire abdomen from rib cage to pubic bone, referred to as “open surgery,” the entire procedure is completed with about five centimeter-long incisions around the belly button using cameras and robotic tools.
The robotic procedure differs slightly from traditional laparoscopic surgery, which is sometimes called “straight stick.” While the incisions are similar, in the straight stick procedure a surgeon will manipulate the tools with their own hands rather than with robotic assistance.
While both minimally-invasive procedures result in less blood loss than traditional ovarian cancer surgery, the robotic surgery is considered more precise. The internal cameras used for the surgery magnify the view by about 20 times, and the robotic tools can access smaller spaces and stitch smaller sutures.