Dr. Inge and Robotic Surgery
Mid-Carolina OB/GYN offers top technology and services for our patients. We’re proud to offer unique robotic surgical options and expert care for gynecological procedures.
Out of all of the hospitals in the United States, only around 20 surgeons are certified to perform surgery with the da Vinci robot. One of them is our nationally-recognized resident Dr. Jack R. Inge Jr., M.D. Dr. Inge received his medical degree from East Carolina University and completed his medical residency at Memorial Health University Hospital. He has been Board Certified since 1999.
Did we also mention that he is also the only robot epicenter surgeon in North Carolina? With Dr. Inge’s expertise, his experience with the da Vinci robot is an invaluable one.
Dr. Inge offers several gynecological procedures through robotic surgery, including hysterectomies, myomectomies, endometriosis resections, and pelvic organ prolapse repair.
Want to know more about how robotic surgery works and how it can help you? Read below and sign up for a free consultation to discuss your needs.
What is robotic surgery and how does it work?
Designed by Intuitive in 2000, the da Vinci surgical system allows for minimally invasive procedures and much shorter recovery times for patients. For over 20 years, patients have benefited greatly from da Vinci technology.
If you’re worried about the robot being the only one in charge of the surgery, fret not — the da Vinci is simply an innovative tool used to make surgeries easier for both doctor and patient. It would be better to phrase it as “robot-assisted surgery”. Think of it as a more precise and effective way of performing surgery. The same methods and movements are used in robotic surgery, but at a smaller scale for better patient experience.
A typical da Vinci system has three parts: a console, a patient cart, and a vision cart.
The console gives surgeons access to 3DHD video imaging and control over the robot with finer precision than human hands. The robot easily mimics hand movements while maintaining a better range of motion. The patient cart houses surgical instruments within reach for the robot. The vision cart allows for a surgeon’s care team to monitor what is going on and the patient’s progress.
What makes robotic surgery the best option for gynecological procedures?
Our goal is to expand access to robotic surgery to more patients. Before robotic surgery, open surgeries and traditional surgery involved bigger incisions, longer recovery times, and bigger risks. The bigger the incision, the longer it takes for the patient to heal, sometimes up to eight weeks. The longer it takes for an incision to recover, the more likely it is to develop an infection at the site of the wound. With minimally-invasive procedures like robotic surgery, incisions as small as one to two centimeters make previously major procedures easier for both surgeon and patient and lower the risk of infection.
While all surgery comes with a certain amount of risk, patients who receive robotic surgery tend to recover much faster than those with traditional surgery and don’t need to rely on pain management for nearly as long. Patients can get back to their daily routines in no time!
Some of the following examples showcase how and why robotic surgery can be used.
A hysterectomy removes the uterus from the body. There are many reasons why a hysterectomy may be performed:
- Cancer in the uterus or surrounding organs or as a cancer prevention method for those with family histories of uterine cancer.
- Extreme pelvic pain caused by the uterus.
- Excessive menstrual bleeding often caused by fibroids or another condition.
- Conditions affecting uterine lining such as polyps, adenomyosis, or hyperplasia.
- Sterilization purposes.
With a traditional hysterectomy, patients can expect a five to seven inch incision in the abdomen. Through robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, an incision through the belly button is all that is needed. The surgeon can remove pieces of the uterus through the incisions and many patients can return home for recovery after surgery.
A myomectomy removes fibroids from the uterus. Fibroids can be responsible for pelvic pain, infertility, excessive menstrual bleeding, and even miscarriages if left untreated. Fibroids may never show symptoms, but can be found during an annual checkup exam with your OB/GYN. Like hysterectomies, the robot is able to make small incisions in the abdomen to treat the problem before the fibroids spread or cause additional problems.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse affects one in five (three percent) of women in the United States to some degree. Over time, pelvic muscles can weaken, causing the surrounding organs to fall out of place. Pressures, discomfort, and bladder dysfunction are just some of the issues that can occur from pelvic organ prolapse. Before surgery is presented as an option, your doctor may recommend other strategies to see if the problem resolves itself.
If lifestyle changes and physical therapy do not improve pelvic organ prolapse, surgery may be the next option to restore pelvic floor function. Called a sacrocolpopexy, this robot-assisted surgery can once again make small incisions in the abdomen to restore organs to their correct spot. They may also place surgical mesh to ensure that the organs stay in place for as long as possible.
Endometriosis causes uterine tissue to travel outside of the uterus, causing endometrial patches to form on the ovaries, bladder, intestines, and other organs. Without treatment, endometriosis can be painful, cause severe pelvic pain, and infertility.
With robotic surgery, endometrial patches can be removed with small incisions as opposed to large, open wounds in an attempt to find every patch. During surgery, the surgeon will remove all of the patches found on the surrounding organs. While endometrial patches may grow back, minimally-invasive surgery ensures that each procedure heals much quicker than a typical endometriosis resection.
How can I schedule a consultation with Dr. Inge?
For robotic surgery consultations in the Raleigh-Durham area and beyond, call our office at 919-781-5510 to schedule an appointment.