Gynaecological camera allows more tailored cancer treatment

St John of God Subiaco Hospital was the first private hospital in Western Australia to install a revolutionary gynaecological camera, enabling significantly more tailored treatment for women with uterine cancer. 

9 Mar 2022

St John of God surgeons performing a gynaecological surgery

The Stryker 1688 AIM 4K Platform is an advanced technology that provides an enhanced view of the pelvic and para-aortic lymph nodes during uterine cancer surgery, allowing surgeons to easily identify and precisely remove cancerous lymph nodes. The new imaging technology enables the fusion of near infra-red images as well as the normal white light images to allow the surgeon to operate safely in high risk areas.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Gynaecologic Oncologist Dr Stuart Salfinger said the technology not only enhances the surgical team’s ability to detect very small microscopic cancers but also ensures women with late-stage disease do not have to undergo unnecessary treatment if nodule cancers are not present.

“Previously, patients with late-stage uterine cancer were required to have all of their pelvic lymph nodes removed to detect if the cancer had spread. This doubled the risk of a condition called lymphoedema, which results in swelling of patients’ legs and increased the risk of disability.”

“If the cancer was caught in the early stage, it was less likely to have spread, so for patients with early-stage disease, we would not remove lymph nodes.”

“However, five percent of women with early stage cancer have undetected nodal disease, and therefore cancer would be missed,” Dr Salfinger said.

“This technology ensures that the tiny lymphatic channels can be mapped out during the patient’s surgery and so microscopic spread of cancers is detected early, and healthy lymph nodes are saved.”

“Not only does this result in less invasive treatment, it also reduces side effects and risks to the patient, it can be lifesaving but also lifestyle saving.”

Over the past 30 years, the incidence of gynaecological cancer has continued to rise.

Uterine cancer is the most diagnosed gynaecological cancer in Australia and is associated with excess weight and obesity.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Chief Executive Officer Professor Shirley Bowen added that the hospital has provided cancer services and care to the Western Australian community since 1898, longer than any other private hospital in the state.

“Over the decades, we have invested heavily in research and clinical trials specific to cancer and have introduced a variety of new procedures and facilities to ensure that our oncology patients are provided the very latest treatment and care,” she said.

“This state-of-the-art surgical equipment reflects our commitment to innovation and to ensuring our patients have the best possible surgical outcomes.”   

Find out more about St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s complete cancer care.