St. E’s Completes Region’s First Robotic Pelvic Prolapse Surgery

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A surgeon at St. Elizabeth Health Center has completed the region’s first robot-assisted procedure to repair pelvic prolapse, a common condition among aging women.

A surgeon at St. Elizabeth Health Center has completed the region’s first robot-assisted procedure to repair pelvic prolapse, a common condition among aging women.

Pelvic prolapse occurs when weakened pelvic muscles allow a woman’s uterus, bladder or rectum to slip out of their normal anatomical positions. It is most common in women who have given birth, women who do a lot of heavy lifting, women who experience frequent inter-abdominal pressure from things such as chronic coughing, and women who are overweight.

Traditional treatment for prolapse is an open procedure in which a large incision is made across the woman’s abdomen giving the surgeon access to the patient’s pelvic organs. This surgery requires four to six weeks for recovery. Laparoscopic procedures to return prolapsed organs to their proper positions are possible, but challenging given the limitations of the rigid, long-handled instruments.

Robotic surgery using the da Vinci surgical system, a groundbreaking platform that employs tiny surgical instruments that have a greater range of motion than the human wrist, and high-definition, 3-D vision, enables physicians to perform more precise, minimally invasive procedures resulting in less pain, quicker recoveries, less blood loss, less scarring and shorter hospital stays for patients.

“Employing robotic surgery to repair pelvic prolapse enables patients to return to their normal activities within one week,” says Dr. Antoine T. El-Hayek. “Patients who undergo open surgery require a much longer recovery time.”

Dr. El-Hayek performed the region’s first robot-assisted sacrocolpopexy – pelvic prolapse repair – in early April. Since then, he has completed several other robot-assisted sacrocolpopexies with outstanding results.

“Patients have been very satisfied,” he says. “They are able to go home following their surgeries after a brief overnight stay in the hospital. They have few restrictions, require less medication for pain and are back to their normal routines within a week. They feel good. This is so much better for them.”

Surgeons at St. Elizabeth have completed more than 850 robot-assisted gynecological, urological and general surgical procedures since the da Vinci System was introduced in 2007.

Humility of Mary Health Partners is the only health care system in the six-county area (Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio and Mercer, Lawrence and Beaver counties in Pennsylvania) to offer da Vinci surgical procedures.

About Humility of Mary Health Partners:
Humility of Mary Health Partners is an integrated health system located in the Youngstown/Warren area. It is a region of Catholic Health Partners (CHP) in Cincinnati, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. HMHP provides a full spectrum of health care services, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency, urgent care, home care and long-term care. Members are St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, HM Home Health Services, The Assumption Village, Humility House, Hospice of the Valley and Laurel Lake. Learn more about HMHP online at ###

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Maraline Kubik