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Robot Lends A Hand During Pioneering Hysterectomy Procedure

BEVERLY HILLS ( — A breakthrough medical procedure relies on a robot and a single incision through the belly button.

Sheryl, who asked not to be fully identified, was the first patient in Los Angeles to receive a single-site robotic-assisted hysterectomy.

Dr. David Ghozland, the patient's OB-GYN, performed the procedure at miVIP's Beverly Hills Regional Surgery Center.

One of the benefits of removing the uterus through the patient's belly button is that it leaves them nearly scar-free.

"Within that 2-centimeter incision, we're going to be able to do very complex surgery and be able to remove an entire uterus," Ghozland said. "It's called coring the uterus, we just take it out in little pieces."

The robot does the actual "hands-on" procedure, while being controlled by the doctor on a high-definition monitor. He says the image on the monitor is more clear than if he was looking at the patient with his naked eye, and that improved visibility allows doctors to perform complex surgery "in a manner never done before."

"When people first learn how to operate on a robot they're surprised at how natural it feels. The robot emulates all of your movements, so you really feel like you're operating on the patient," Ghozland said.

"The thing that was kind of off-putting is that he's over on another side of the room and I'm over on the other side, and that kind of gave me pause," Sheryl said.

Due to the single incision, Sheryl didn't have to spend any time in the hospital and her recovery was only a few days, as opposed to six weeks with a traditional hysterectomy.

She said, "If I can help people make the decision to do it, I think that makes me feel good. And I'm glad the technology is here, because I don't think I would have had the guts to do it."

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