Abdominal Cerclage Doctors Perform Robotic Surgery To Help Those With Cervical Incompetence

October 7, 2013
Drs. Atlas and Im

Dr. Robert Atlas, Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy, and Gynecologic oncologist and robotic surgeon Dr. Dwight Im

Cervical incompetence is a condition that can lead to miscarriage, but doctors said there is a way to cut that risk and help avoid premature births.

Rachel Powers said she went through a lot before having her 5-month-old, Olivia.

"I had to do many IVF cycles, and it was a success, but I lost the child (from previous pregnancy) at 18 weeks because of an incompetent cervix," Powers said.

Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mercy Medical Center was able to identify her problem. She was in need of an abdominal cerclage, which is a treatment for cervical insufficiency.

"She had a good part of her cervix removed, which led her to lose that pregnancy because there was no way to put a suture in vaginally, so we had to go abdominally," Dr. Atlas explained.

He referred Powers to Mercy gynecologic oncologist Dr. Dwight Im, who is a leader in the field of robotic surgery.

"Instead of being cut open traditionally with a knife -- cut open and put the suture around the cervix -- we use a few tiny holes and go in robotically. It's more precise. You know exactly where the stitches are being placed," Dr. Im said.

The procedure is outpatient, and within a couple of months, the patient can try once again to conceive.

"The cerclage definitely worked. I remember Dr. Im saying, 'It's not a guarantee, but we'll do the best we can,' and they sure did the best they could," Powers said. "It was a long road, but well worth it."


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: dcollins@mdmercy.com Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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