Shore Health Systems
Shore Health System

Robotic Surgery Offers Options for Women
July 2nd, 2010

Gynecologist William Katz, MD, uses the daVinci Surgical System to perform gynecological surgery at the Memorial Hospital at Easton.


Following the birth of her third child, April Chaney began suffering from a monthly cycle of excessive uterine bleeding, lightheadedness and dizziness that was affecting her life at work and at home.

Over time, her condition, known as menorrhagia, led to iron deficiency anemia and the need for blood transfusions and an endometrial ablation, a procedure to remove the lining of her uterus.

"I suffered on and off for about two years before having the ablation done," Chaney recalls. "The procedure helped me get back to my 'normal' for about five months but the symptoms returned in full force with a dizzy spell that brought me to Memorial Hospital."

Chaney, who lives in Denton, continued to discuss her medical care options with her gynecologist, William Katz, MD. At 36 and with three children, she elected to have a hysterectomy to remove her uterus.

"When I learned that robotic surgery was an option that meant less pain and a faster recovery than other surgical options, I was thrilled," says Chaney. She returned home the day following surgery and was back at work one week later with few activity limitations after that time.

A Less Invasive Alternative

Dr. Katz, a gynecologist on the Shore Health System medical staff, performed Chaney's hysterectomy using the da Vinci® Surgical System. "Women who are candidates for this type of surgery benefit from reduced risks and side effects resulting from the surgeon's increased view, greater precision and tireless control derived from using the system," Dr. Katz explains.

The da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgical console for the physician and a patient-side cart positioned next to the operating table, where the surgical system's robotic "arms" execute the surgeon's movements. A miniature, high-definition digital camera is placed in the patient's body through one of the small incisions necessary to perform the surgery. The camera provides the surgeon with a magnified three-dimensional view of the surgical area.

The surgical team at the patient's side includes the anesthesiologist, a nurse first assistant, a registered nurse and a surgical technologist. The team is available to assist the surgeon and to ensure that the patient is cared for throughout the procedure.

Seated at the surgical console a few feet away from the patient, Dr. Katz's hand, wrist and finger movements are translated into precise, real-time movements of the tiny surgical instruments placed within the patient.

"Performing gynecologic surgical procedures with robotic technology provides more versatility and range of movement so cutting and suturing through the small incisions is far easier," explains Dr. Katz. "We're able to provide more effective care for patients using this state-of-the-art system resulting in a much more comfortable experience for my patients during and after surgery."

Gynecologic Conditions and Treatments

Surgery remains the accepted and most effective treatment for a range of gynecologic conditions including procedures for cervical, endometrial or ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, treatment of endometriosis and removal of pelvic masses.

"While using the da Vinci surgical system allows us to offer more women a minimally invasive approach to performing complex operations, abdominal surgery and conventional laparoscopic approaches may still be the appropriate option for many conditions," says Dr. Katz. "Only you and your doctor can decide whether da Vinci surgery is right for you."

Shore Health System also offers surgery for prostate cancer using the daVinci® surgical system. Learn more about this robotic surgical system at

The surgical team members who assist Dr. Katz in the OR at Memorial Hospital are (left to right) surgical technologist Ashley Burrows, CST; registered nurse first assist Lisette Vazquez, MSN, RNFA, CNOR; and surgical technologist Holli Robertson, ST. The other members of the daVinci GYN team are Kathy Kopeck, RN; Penny Boyle, RN; and Fatima Moufid, ST.

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