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Anaesthesia for robotic gynaecological surgery

Department of Anaesthesia, Medanta Medicity Hospital, Gurgaon, Delhi, India

Summary

Robotic surgery is gaining widespread popularity due to advantages such as reduced blood loss, reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay and better visualisation of fine structures. Robots are being used in urological, cardiac, thoracic, orthopaedic, gynaecological and general surgery. Robotic surgery received US Food and Drug Administration approval for use in gynaecological surgery in 2005.
The various gynaecological robotic operations being performed are myomectomy, total and supracervical hysterectomy, ovarian cystectomy, sacral colpopexy, tubal reanastomosis, lymph node dissection, surgery of retroperitoneal ectopic pregnancy, Moskowitz procedure and endometriosis surgery.
The anaesthetic considerations include difficult access to the patient intraoperatively, steep Trendelenburg position, long surgical duration and the impact of pneumoperitoneum. We highlight the complications encountered in these surgeries and methods to prevent these complications.
Robotic gynaecological surgery can be safely performed after considering the physiological effects of the steep Trendelenburg position and of pneumoperitoneum. The benefits of the surgical procedure should be weighed against the risks in patients with underlying cardiorespiratory problems.

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