'Tweeted' robotic surgery is successful

By Molly Merrill
10:31 AM

The Henry Ford Health System in Detroit provided live Twitter feed Friday of a successful robotic hysterectomy performed on a 31-year-old female.

Alex Hrynewych, a second year OBGYN resident at Henry Ford, provided the Twitter updates and responded to questions from the public. 

Twittering is an "opportunity to help explain to a wider audience what it is that OBGYNs do and some of the tools at our disposal," said Hrynewych. The forum is a chance to explain medicine in laymen's terms, he said.

David I. Eisenstein, MD, performed the surgery sitting at a console and using instruments attached to a robot, while the rest of the surgical team operated other instruments laparoscopically to assist the primary surgeon.

Though performed robotically, the operation is still considered a laparoscopic surgery. The use of a robot allows for more fluid, controlled movements, explained Hrynewych.

A robotic surgery adds OR time because of the many additional steps in setting up, he said, but it does allow the patient to spend less time at the hospital in recovery.

"The increased operative time is one of the factors we discuss with our patients when we help them decide on a treatment modality," said Hrynewych.

The patient also underwent a right salpingo-oopherectomy, the removal of an ovary and the associated fallopian tube, for excessive menstruation.

Images of the surgery, such as the dissection of the uterus from the pelvic wall and the suturing of the vaginal cuff, were also posted on YouTube.

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