Hartford Hospital’s Division of Urogynecology is among the top five in the nation in robotic/minimally- invasive pelvic reconstructive surgery.
Urinary incontinence, pelvic organ support problems and bladder disorders affect the health and quality of life of millions of women of all ages. Physicians in the Urogynecology Division
at Hartford Hospital are specially trained to diagnose, educate and treat women for these disorders.
Drs. Christine LaSala, Paul Tulikangas, Elana Tunitsky
and Adam Steinberg - all members of the Urogynecology Division - routinely use the da Vinci Surgical System robot
to treat uterine or bladder prolapse with a highly-effective procedure called abdominal sacral colpoplexy
“Conventional surgery requires a long surgical incision that can take up to eight weeks to heal,” says Christine LaSala, M.D.
, who specializes in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery. “The robot makes the procedure easier to perform so we can often avoid an abdominal incision.”
“We are the only group in Connecticut that has experience in this approach and can offer it to many women with prolapse,” says Paul K. Tulikangas, MD
. Dr. Tulikangas also points out that Hartford Hospital has taken a very deliberate and measured approach to robotic surgery. “This is great technology, and we want to make it available to patients, but safety is our first priority,” Dr. Tulikangas says. “Physicians wishing to use it must do extensive coursework, be proctored and go through an exacting credentialing process.”
Hartford Hospital physicians lead the region in providing minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Traditionally, surgical procedures such as a sacral colpopexy for apical vaginal prolapse and a retropubic urethropexy for incontinence have been associated with large abdominal incisions and lengthy recovery.
The use of laparoscopy has been very successful in helping decrease the need for an open incision and shorten recovery time. Unfortunately, these laparoscopic procedures can sometimes be technically difficult, multifaceted and require large amounts of suturing.
With the introduction of robotic surgery to this discipline, physicians have been able to perform the same procedures with greater ease, reducing postoperative discomfort for patients and, most importantly, achieving similar positive results. Surgery to treat stress urinary incontinence using a urethral 'sling' may be done vaginally with 2 tiny incisions in 30 minutes as an outpatient procedure.
All patients who have symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse and/or incontinence are possible candidates for these procedures. "We see the use of robotic surgery as a technique that will allow us to provide our patients with the best, most advanced care possible," says Adam Steinberg, DO