Antonio R. Gargiulo, MD of the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital completed a live surgery for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), treating a patient suffering from uterine fibroids with a novel robotic surgical approach and a cutting edge laser technology developed at OmniGuide® in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Gargiulo and his team performed the surgery – a Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Myomectomy –at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, broadcasting the live video feed to an international audience of over 1,000 reproductive specialists attending the 68th annual ASRM meeting in San Diego, CA.
“This live telesurgery was a wonderful opportunity to share the excellent work we are doing at Brigham and Women’s in treating a prevalent and painful disease state,” noted Dr. Gargiulo, who also serves as the Medical Director of the Center for Robotic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Health Care and as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School.
Fibroids (the lay term for uterine leiomyomata) are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus affecting a large number of women, with the National Institutes of Health estimating that more than 70% of women will develop fibroids by the time they reach 50 years of age. Dr. Gargiulo continued, “Patients suffering from uterine fibroids in our practice present with abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. By means of conservative surgery (removal of the tumors and reconstruction of the uterus) patients can look forward to a resolution of their symptoms and/or to successfully conceive and have a normal pregnancy. I believe that sharing the specific details of our novel surgical approach with the members of the ASRM will lead to more options and better outcomes for these patients across the country.”
The surgical technique demonstrated during the live broadcast was a minimally invasive, robot-assisted approach to access the uterus for treatment. Dr. Gargiulo then employed a flexible carbon dioxide laser system to very precisely perform uterine incisions to remove fibroids that were in close association with essential reproductive structures (uterine lining and tubes). Delivering this advanced laser energy was the BeamPath® ROBOTIC system from OmniGuide, which employs a proprietary technology to couple the precision of CO2 laser with the platform of robotic surgery.
Describing his approach, Dr. Gargiulo concluded, “The flexible CO2 laser combined with the three-dimensional view and the intuitive instrument manipulation allowed by the surgical robot provides the surgeon with a true minimally-invasive microsurgical platform for treating patients with uterine fibroids (as well as other reproductive conditions). As an alternative to other devices that transmit energy beyond your incision, this flexible CO2 laser technology provides a level of precision that will change the way we treat our patients in reproductive medicine. I am pleased to offer it to my patients and share my experience with the ASRM.”