Q: What is recurrent pregnancy loss due to premature cervical dilation?
Some women can have recurring pregnancy losses because the cervix dilates early in pregnancy, causing the pregnancy to end long before the baby is able to survive outside the womb. This problem used to be called pregnancy loss due to “incompetent cervix”. In modern times, it is referred to as pregnancy loss due to premature cervical dilation. Either way, the loss of a pregnancy is a devastating occurrence for any woman seeking to grow to her family.
Q: How is recurrent pregnancy loss due to premature cervical dilation treated?
In certain women with cervix related recurrent pregnancy loss, their Obstetrician will recommend that a special stitch be placed around the cervix to help hold it closed during the pregnancy. This stitch is called a Cerclage, and it can be placed either vaginally or via an abdominal route. Most Obstetricians will place a vaginal cerclage in women with this problem, but will suggest an abdominal cerclage for women who fail the vaginal cerclage, or women whose cervix is too short to accommodate a vaginal cerclage.
Q: What is a Whiteman-Hoyte Robotic Abdominal Cerclage?
Dr. Hoyte worked in conjunction with the highly experienced high-risk Obstetrician, the late Dr. Valerie Whiteman, to develop a short, minimally invasive Robotic technique for placing the abdominal cerclage using the DaVinci surgical system. This technique is called the Whiteman-Hoyte Robotic Trans Abdominal Cerclage(WHRTAC), and it is available women who have been diagnosed by their obstetrician with recurrent pregnancy loss due to premature cervical dilation. The WHRTAC is placed in a way that does not disrupt the blood flow to the uterus and cervix. It can be placed either in the nonpregnant woman, or optimally before 16 weeks of pregnancy. In order to be considered for this procedure, a woman needs to be diagnosed by a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and referred for an abdominal cerclage.