Obesity Doesn't Cause Complications

A lot of women fight to keep their weight under control and a lot of women suffer from the common condition known as uterine fibroids. A small piece of news may provide some comfort: obese women are at no greater risk for post-surgical complications from the new robotic surgery when it is performed as a means to removing uterine fibroids than are women of normal weight. This is according to a study performed at the Henry Ford Hospital.

Surgical Robots

Myomectomy is a rather new procedure that removes uterine fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. Future fertility can be preserved by using this surgical technique as an alternative to the hysterectomy. David Eisenstein, M.D., the division head of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, at Detroit's Henry Ford Health System, acting as co-author of this study says, "Performing laparoscopic myomectomy on an obese patient can present difficulties for the most experienced gynecologic surgeon. However, this challenge can now be overcome with the assistance of surgical robots that provide the surgeon with three-dimensional images, improved instrument dexterity and better precision."

This study was just presented in Orlando, Florida, at the 38th Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology.

Between 1980 and 2000, the percentage of U.S. adults who are obese doubled. From 1991 to the present, the number of obese adults in the U.S. has increased by a whopping 74%. Almost 23 million of them are women.

Reliable Indicators

Obesity is defined as a body mass index of more than 30. The body mass index is the numerical value that represents a person's weight in relation to his height. The numbers are reliable indicators for healthy weights in adult men and women, no matter the size of their body frame. BMI's of over 30 increase one's risk for various health issues.

This study looked at 77 patients who were treated with robotic laparoscopic myomectomy from January 2005 to November 2008 at the Detroit hospital. The patients were chosen for having similar demographics. 32 of the participants, or over 40% of them, had a BMI higher than 30. The primary goal of the study was to evaluate the effects of BMI on the length of the procedure, amount of blood loss, and the length of the hospital stay. It was found that obesity did not increase the patients' risk for poor surgical outcomes for robotic myomectomy.

Doctors are opting for minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgical techniques as a way of avoiding the traditional large incision surgeries. They have found that these techniques make for safe surgery with fewer complications, reducing postoperative pain as well as recovery time.

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