Sisters Hospital Surgeon Performs First Robotic-assisted Cervical Surgery in WNY to Help Area Women Carry Pregnancies to Term

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February 28, 2012

Dr. Ali Ghomi, a Catholic Health gynecologic surgeon at Sisters of Charity Hospital, performed the area’s first laparoscopic transabdominal cervical cerclage (cervical stitch) surgery using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System.

Cervical cerclage is usually performed on women who have suffered one or more miscarriages in the second trimester because their cervix does not remain closed throughout the pregnancy. The cervix is usually stitched shut at the beginning of the second trimester and reopened towards the end of the pregnancy when the greatest risk of miscarriage has passed.

The surgery is traditionally performed vaginally to stitch shut the cervix and prevent preterm labor in pregnant women with a weak or incompetent cervix.

Performing the procedure through the abdomen is recommended for women who have had multiple or failed cervical stitch surgeries. Originally performed through a large incision in the abdomen, a handful of gynecologists have been performing the procedure laparoscopically during the last decade to avoid the complications associated with open abdominal surgery.

Dr. Ghomi has been performing laparoscopic cervical stitch surgery since 2003, and is currently the only physician in the area who does the procedure. In order to overcome certain limitations of the laparoscopic approach, he successfully performed the area’s first abdominal cervical stitch surgery using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System on a patient with history of multiple pregnancy losses in the second trimester.

“The dexterity, precision and superior visualization of the da Vinci Surgical System made the procedure go much more smoothly for the patient than the laparoscopic approach,” says Dr. Ghomi. “The patient was able to go home the same day.”