The only real difference between laparoscopic and the heavily-advertised, robotic surgery for hysterectomies may be a major cost increase for the latter, according to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Laparoscopic surgery, in which narrow instruments and a small video camera are inserted through tiny incisions, costs a median of $6,679. With robotically assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a console with a 3-dimensional view of the surgical site, and computer technology translates his or her hand movements into precise, scaled movements of the instruments. This procedure costs a median of $8,868, a one-third increase.

When comparing outcomes in 264,758 women who had either one of these two types of surgery between 2007 and 2010, researchers found no overall difference in complication rates between the two groups, and no difference in the rates of blood transfusion. 

While approximately 600,000 American women have hysterectomies each year, many are prescribed for non life-threatening conditions without fully informing women of the long-term harms, including depression and a higher risk of heart disease, according to Nora W. Coffey, the founder of the Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services Foundation. Read the full details here:

Questions About Robotic Hysterectomy

Many complications can occur during a hysterectomy leading to medical malpractice, wrongful death and even brain injury. A new robotic procedure had seemed hopeful; however, it appears the cost is very high while the complication rate is not much better than traditional methods.