When possible, we prefer to use minimally invasive and robotic surgeries rather than conventional “open” surgery that involves large, open incisions. These specialized forms of gynecologic surgery are easier on the patient and offer improved outcomes.
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
The surgeon uses tiny incisions to insert special operating instruments and a camera into the patient to provide an internal view of her abdomen and pelvis. Due to the small incisions, patients tend to have a quicker recovery time, reduced chances of clotting and infection, and less post-surgery pain.
In this advanced form of gynecologic surgery, a surgeon has a video view and uses a computer to control a robotic arm that executes surgical actions. This technique is often used in conjunction with minimally invasive surgeries to allow the surgeon greater precision during surgery.
Common gynecologic surgeries
Here is a brief review of some our gynecologic surgery services, many of which are minimally invasive, that are used to either treat or diagnose a condition:
- Hysteroscopy: A procedure in which the doctor uses a thin, lighted instrument called a hysteroscope to view the inside of the uterus. The device is inserted through the vagina and cervix and does not require an incision.
- Cystoscopy: This is a procedure allowing the doctor to examine the urinary tract using a lighted scope inserted through the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body.
- Hysterectomy: A surgical procedure that removes all or part of a woman’s uterus and possibly other reproductive organs. If a woman has not already gone through menopause, a hysterectomy will stop her monthly periods and prevent the possibility of pregnancy.
- Tubal ligation: Commonly known as “getting your tubes tied,” this permanent form of birth control either cuts or blocks a woman’s fallopian tubes, thereby preventing eggs from traveling along the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
- Myomectomy: The surgical removal of uterine fibroids. There are several techniques that may be used, depending on the location and size of the fibroids as well as the woman’s preferences.
- Oophorectomy: The surgical removal of the ovaries or of a single ovary.
- Endometrial ablation: An in-office procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to lighten or stop a woman’s period.
Risks of gynecologic surgery
As with any operation, there are risks that come with many of the gynecologic surgeries we perform. At CU Medicine OB-GYN East Denver (Rocky Mountain) we aim to use minimally invasive surgeries in the majority of our surgeries, which reduces the chance of many post-surgery risks. Some possible complications include:
- Blood loss
- Blood clots
- Swelling and bruising
- Damage to surrounding organs
- Damage to the reproductive organs.
Prior to receiving gynecologic surgery, patients should talk with their doctor about the specific risks associated with their procedure.