Doctors' group told hysterectomy not best option

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Associated Press

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 14 at 3:37 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — New advice from a doctors' group says to think twice before choosing robotic surgery for a routine hysterectomy.

Thursday's statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says for most women, the best choice is for doctors to operate through the vagina — using standard tools instead of a robot.

Dr. James Breeden, president of the OB/GYN group, says aggressive marketing may mislead women into thinking the robotic surgery is better. But for routine hysterectomies, he says there is no evidence that robotic techniques improve women's outcomes over regular minimally invasive surgeries. And it's much pricier. A study found robotic surgery added at least $2,000 to the cost.

Breeden says the robot may have advantages for women with unusual and complex conditions, but research is needed to show that.

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