Renaissance Women's Group – Austin OBGYN

First robotic abdominal cervical cerclage performed in Austin

Dr. Devin Garza performs the first robotic abdominal cervical cerclage ever performed in Austin

Robotic Surgeon - Dr. Devin GarzaAustin-area resident Melissa Hernandez was excited to learn about a procedure—an abdominal cervical cerclage—that might help prevent her from having a miscarriage. A cerclage is a procedure where the cervix is sewn shut to prevent it from opening due to the pressure of carrying a baby during pregnancy. She was happy to learn that it could be performed in a minimally invasive fashion – through robotic surgery – since traditionally this complex procedure is accomplished through a large incision and a much longer recovery period.

Melissa said, “I had had two vaginal cerclage procedures, and they both failed, but then I heard about this robotic procedure and how it was being performed successfully in places like Chicago. I thought I might have to go there or somewhere outside of Austin for the surgery.”

Melissa was surprised to learn that there was a local doctor who could help. Her maternal fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Sina Haeri, encouraged Melissa to have a consultation with Dr. Garza, a nationally-known expert in robotic gynecological surgery.

Melissa’s cerclage took place at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in August, 2015. She said, “I went in at noon, and I think I was released about 5:30. After a four day weekend, I was back at work. Since then I’ve been camping and out to the lake. I’m feeling good.”

The robotic abdominal cervical cerclage took about an hour, and it only required several small incisions, or entry points, in the abdomen. Enhanced 3-D vision and special instrumentation provided by the daVinci® surgical system, allows Dr. Garza to very precisely place the stitches in the cervix.

Typically, an abdominal cerclage requires a large incision and longer recovery time and sometimes bed rest, so Melissa was pleased to learn that the robotic abdominal cervical cerclage allowed her to go home the same day and return to her normal activities very quickly.

Unlike many traditional vaginal cerclage procedures, Melissa’s procedure was not performed during her pregnancy, but prior to conception, since this eliminates the worry of damage to the fetus during the procedure. In addition, many doctors feel that performing this procedure before conception may be the best treatment for women, like Melissa, who have experienced prior pregnancy losses. She can begin trying to conceive approximately six to eight weeks after her surgery.

When asked if she would recommend Dr. Garza and this procedure to other women, Melissa replied, “Absolutely! I hope telling my story will help other women learn about this surgery, too.”

For more information about Dr. Garza, contact us or go to

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