Objectives: Robotic sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) has increased, along with marketing and media coverage. It is unknown whether this exposure influences patients' opinions on POP repair. This study describes the preference for and knowledge of robotic surgery in women with POP.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey of new patients presenting with POP at 7 academic sites. Subjects had no prior surgical counseling. A self-administered questionnaire was designed to investigate robotic surgery knowledge, preference, and exposure. Subjects expressed their preferred route of POP repair (robotic, vaginal, abdominal, laparoscopic, or no preference). Knowledge was determined by the number of correctly answered questions (range, 0-7). Perception of robotic surgery was compared with other surgical routes.
Results: One hundred seventy-six subjects were included. Most had no surgical preference (66.3%), whereas 27.3% preferred nonrobotic and 6.4% preferred robotic routes. The mean knowledge score was 2.3 (SD, 1.7). Women preferring robotic surgery were more likely to view it as faster than laparoscopic surgery (P < 0.001). These same subjects did not perceive any advantages for robotic surgery related to blood loss, pain, and organ injury (P > 0.05). Most reported no prior exposure to robotic surgery information (56.2%) or advertisements (65.2%). Those with prior exposure most frequently obtained information via the Internet and encountered hospital advertisements.
Conclusions: The majority of women with POP reported no preference for robotic approach to POP surgery. Knowledge about robotic surgery was low, even among subjects who expressed preference. Comprehensive counseling may help patients make informed decisions even when surgical preferences exist.