Women undergo gynecologic surgery for a number of conditions including heavy periods, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and cancer. Medications and nonsurgical options may help treat some of these conditions. However, surgery is sometimes the best option for definitive treatment of a patient’s condition.
Historically, gynecologic surgery was performed using large incisions which required the patient to stay several days in the hospital followed by 6 weeks of recovery at home. Now, minimally invasive techniques allow gynecologic surgeries to be performed through smaller incisions with most patients being able to go home from the hospital the same day followed by 2-4 weeks of recovery at home.
Laparoscopic techniques for gynecologic surgery offer the following advantages:
- Smaller incisions
- Less pain
- Less scarring
- Less bleeding
- Outpatient surgeries for most procedures
- Shorter recovery time
Gynecologic surgeries which may be performed using laparoscopic techniques include:
Permanent sterilization involves placing a ring or clip on each fallopian tube preventing fertilization. Newer techniques involve removing the fallopian tubes entirely.
Diagnosis and destruction of endometriosis may be performed using laser or cautery.
Many ovarian cysts are noncancerous and may be removed allowing the ovary to be left behind.
A myomectomy is a procedure to treat uterine fibroids. The fibroids are removed while leaving the uterus intact.
A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix. Depending on the patient’s age, wishes and recommendation of her physician, the fallopian tubes and/or ovaries may also be removed.