Our fellowship-trained surgeons specialize in minimally invasive surgery for many gynecologic conditions. Minimally invasive techniques use smaller incisions (cuts to the body), and tiny cameras and instruments. In some cases, we don’t use any abdominal incisions if we can work through the body’s natural opening, such as the vagina.
Minimally invasive surgery can be a safer approach, compared to traditional surgery, depending on the disease we’re treating and your medical condition and anatomy. With smaller incisions, there’s less pain, and faster healing and recovery.
Two common types of minimally invasive techniques are laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.
Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy
Laparoscopy places a small camera, called a laparoscope, through your belly button to see the inside of your abdomen and your pelvic organs. Laparoscopy is done in the operating room under anesthesia. The surgeon inserts small instruments through tiny abdominal incisions to do a hysterectomy, or remove ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and fibroids.
Hysteroscopy can be done in the office or operating room. The surgeon places a thin, lighted tube called a hysteroscope into your vagina to see inside your uterus. Hysteroscopy can diagnose conditions like abnormal bleeding. The surgeon can also treat conditions by inserting small instruments through the hysteroscope to remove polyps, fibroids and scar tissue, and perform sterilization.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. Hysterectomy can be performed for various indications including uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, pelvic pain, pre-cancerous lesions, or cancer.
Due to advances in surgical options and medications, hysterectomy is not always required. Be sure that you have reviewed all of your surgical options prior to your decision. When other treatment options have failed or if you are interested in a hysterectomy as a primary treatment, several types of hysterectomy can be performed. Options exist depending on the parts of the uterus to be removed, as well as the type of the surgical approach.
Types of Hysterectomy: By speaking with your doctor today, you can determine which type of hysterectomy is best for you.
Total Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus and cervix.
Subtotal Hysterctomy/Supracervical Hysterectomy: Removal of body of uterus, leaving cervix behind.
Abdominal Hysterectomy: The uterus is removed through a large incision (4-6 inches) in the abdomen. The procedure usually requires a two-day hospital stay and a recovery period of six weeks.
Vaginal Hysterectomy: The uterus is removed from an incision made at that top of the vagina with no external incisions. The procedure usually requires a one-day hospital stay and a recovery period of two to four weeks. Only a total hysterectomy can be performed by this approach.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: A laparoscope is inserted through a small incision to view the uterus and surrounding organs along with two to three small ½-inch incisions on the abdomen. With a total hysterectomy, the uterus and cervix are removed through the vagina. With a supracervical hysterectomy the uterus is removed with laparoscopic tools through a small 1-inch incision. Most patients can go home the same day of surgery or stay overnight. The recovery period is usually two weeks.