Robotic Surgery for Gynecologic Cancers

VIDEO | 05:30

Memorial Sloan Kettering Co-Director of Robotic Surgery Mario Leitao, Jr.,  explains the benefits and rising use of robotic surgery for gynecologic cancer. The robotic platform facilitates minimally invasive surgery by providing enhanced visualization and 3-D imaging. The platform is associated with less postoperative pain and complications and permits the application of fluorescent techniques to highlight lymph nodes and other tissues of interest. At Memorial Sloan Kettering today, more than 90 percent of gynecologic surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques, and in 2012 our surgeons performed nearly 1,500 operations using the robotic platform. We now have five dual-console robotic platforms and use them regularly for procedures such as hysterectomy and trachelectomy. Dr. Leitao notes that surgeons typically need to perform 20 to 40 procedures to become proficient with the tool, and that mass training is not reliable or effective. He also addresses the platform’s cost-effectiveness.