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The science of childbirth

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Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUMH, Dr. Barry O'Reilly with Patrick and Anne O'Mahony from Donoughmore and their daughter Lucy who was born just an hour before this photo was taken on Friday. Credit: Photo by Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUMH, Dr. Barry O'Reilly with Patrick and Anne O'Mahony from Donoughmore and their daughter Lucy who was born just an hour before this photo was taken on Friday. Credit: Photo by Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUMH, Dr. Barry O'Reilly with Patrick and Anne O'Mahony from Donoughmore and their daughter Lucy who was born just an hour before this photo was taken on Friday. Credit: Photo by Daragh Mc Sweeney/ Provision

A DONOUGHMORE woman has become one of the first women in Europe to be assisted in a successful pregnancy by a robotic surgery procedure carried out last year in Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Anne O'Mahony from Donoughmore gave birth to baby Lucy, at CUH last Friday, having had the revolutionary procedure – known as the da Vinci Surgical System.

Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUMH, Dr Barry O'Reilly explained the procedure is used to assist women carry their babies to full term.

"When a woman's cervix is weak, which is sometimes called an incompetent cervix, the woman is likely to have a pregnancy loss because the cervix opens too early. In order to prevent this devastating problem from recurring, we can perform a surgical procedure before a further pregnancy to keep the cervix closed for the future. A closed cervix helps a developing baby stay inside the uterus until the mother reaches 37-38 weeks of pregnancy," Dr O'Reilly said.

Dr O'Reilly added that in most hospitals this procedure is performed through an open abdominal incision, requiring a long hospital stay and recovery. In CUMH this procedure is carried out using da Vinci robotic surgery.

"We are delighted that this technology is available for this type of surgery. The da Vinci Surgical System benefits patients because it involves less pain and scarring, reduced risk of infection, reduced blood loss and fewer transfusions, quicker recovery time, discharge from hospital and return to normal activities," he said.