New procedure a breakthrough for women

by Yvette Orozco, Reporter
Published in “The Pasadena Citizen” on October 30, 2007

Dr. Dafashy and the da Vinci instrument
Photo by Yvette Orozco

An innovative surgical technique has given the medical establishment a three-dimensional view into women’s health.

Da Vinci refers to the robotic instrument that has taken surgery to a different level and medical professionals in Pasadena have welcomed its arrival.

For the last six months, Drs. Deya Dafashy and      of the Women’s Ob/Gyn Center on 6243 Fairmont Parkway suite #205, have been utilizing the system.

By requiring only a keyhole entry incision in gynecological surgeries such as cesarean sections, hysterectomies, pelvic floor repair, reversal of tubal ligation and surgery involving the removal of fibroid tumors, the da Vinci minimizes the health risks of surgery.

It’s an endoscopic robot where you insert the instrument into the patient’s abdomen and finish the procedure on a console. – Dr. Deya Dafashy

In layman’s terms, the da Vinci can be described as a surgical version of a 3D video game, where a surgeon’s movements in a console trigger the actual procedure on a patient, which would be in the same room.

“While you’re doing that, the instruments inside the abdomen start working the way you want them to work and you can perform the procedures,” said Dafashy. “The robot has a 3D image which enables us to see inside of the abdomen and see dimension. It also abolishes a surgeon’s hand tremors and is more precise.”

The instrument carries a current price tag of $1.6 million and only four are available in the Houston area including Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena.

In the field of invasive gynecological surgery and to surgeons like Dafashy, the value to the field of women’s health is immeasurable.

“It minimizes the risks of infection,” said Dafashy.

Previously, a surgical procedure like a hysterectomy would require up to a several week recovery period. With the da Vinci instrument, the recovery period is significantly diminished.

“With da Vinci, they can go back home after three hours and they can go back to work after four or five days,” said Dafashy.

While laparoscopic procedures are not a new invention, the robotic device utilized in a surgical procedure provides the most advanced technique available.

Laparoscopic allows one-axis movement, da Vinci allows a full range of movement.

“The benefit of the robot is that we can do more difficult cases that normally you cannot do laparoscopically because of the three-dimensional vision and also the range of motion.”

NASA developed the da Vinci instrument as a way to perform surgical procedures from earth to space.

About a year and a half ago, said Dafashy, NASA successfully performed orthopedic surgery on a demo patient several feet under water in Key West.

“You don’t have that scar and it means that I can go back to work the next day or a day after and get back to normal life,” said Ruth Rambaran, office manager at Women’s Ob/Gyn Center. “It seems like it’s a safer approach.”

Dr. Dafashy and the da Vinci instrument
Photo by Y. Orozco

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