A surgeon at Galvenston performed groundbreaking robotic laparoscopy on a 35 year old patient whose cervix was too small to sustain a pregnancy.
Dr. Sami Kilic, chief of minimally invasive gynecology and research at UTMB, is the first surgeon in the world reported to have used robotically assisted, ultrasound-guided laparoscopic surgery to successfully tighten a pregnant patient's incompetent cervix.
Kilic performed the surgery in December 2011 at UTMB's John Sealy Hospital.
Kilic's new procedure left the patient with only three tiny abdominal scars.
"The recovery was amazing. Two days later I was able to sit on the floor at home and play with my toddler," new mum Leonora Orejuela said.
Stitches to the cervix during surgery must be precise; a suture placed a hair's breadth the wrong way can puncture either the amniotic sac or a major blood vessel in the mother.
With the dual visualization screen of the da Vinci Si robotic surgical system, Kilic was able to view a real-time ultrasound image on one screen and the operative field via scope camera on another screen, side by side, at the same time he performed the surgery.
This two-screen system offers unsurpassed visualization in a laparoscopic surgical situation.
Kilic is an international pioneer in gynecologic robotic surgical techniques and training protocols who was hired by UTMB five years ago to spearhead a state-of-the-art robotic surgery training program.
Orejuela, the patient, was discharged home the next day after a one-night stay in the hospital.
Orejuela proceeded to have an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy, going into labor at 36 weeks.
She delivered a healthy baby girl, Lucia Munoz, 6 pounds, 11.5 ounces, by Caesarean section.
The procedure is published online in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology.