Urogynecology: What is Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery?

One of the most isolating and overwhelming problems a woman can face in her life is having a reproductive problem which may require surgery. Efforts by researchers worldwide to advance their understanding of gynecologic issues have resulted in women with gynecologic conditions having more options than ever before.

 

As the emphasis on minimally invasive procedures continues to grow in the United States, the focus is gradually shifting away from traditional open surgery to more effective treatment options like minimally invasive surgery for delicate gynecologic procedures.

What Is Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery?

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery is a surgical approach in which specialized tools are used to make small skin incisions, usually less than an inch in size.  Small tools are inserted through the small incisions when performing a minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. 

This not only makes the procedure faster to recover from it also makes it less painful. Minimally invasive surgery aims to eliminate large abdominal incisions during specialized procedures such as laparoscopy, robotic-assisted surgery, and hysteroscopy. 

Innovative Treatment Options used in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery—An effective treatment using a small camera to send live pictures to a monitor enabling surgeons to perform complex surgeries with minimal trauma on surrounding tissues. Thus, patients stay in hospital shorter, undergo less discomfort, and have a shorter recovery period.
  • Robotic surgery—In this approach, an automated robotic tool is used by surgeons to operate on cases too complex for traditional laparoscopy with increased accuracy and precision.
  • Hysteroscopic surgery—This technique uses a small, narrow telescope to allow the surgeon to visualize and evaluate the inside of the affected area without the need for any incisions. 
How Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Works

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries have been shown to improve outcomes while reducing discomfort and inconvenience in patients. The surgeon inserts small scopes and surgical instruments through small incisions to eliminate the need to make large incisions in the abdomen. 

Smaller incisions mean that the patient gets to experience less pain and recovers faster. When performing a minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, the surgeon uses a miniature camera with a microscope and tiny fiber-optic lights to provide images on a high-definition monitor.

When Is Surgery Required?

Age notwithstanding, a variety of non-cancerous (benign) gynecologic conditions can be treated with minimally invasive gynecologic procedures. Common procedures that a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon can help with include:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding (including heavy periods
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids 
  • Hysterectomy
Recovering From Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Often, minimally invasive surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Since only tiny incisions are required, minimally invasive surgery results in less trauma to the body than extensive open incisions, thus speeding up the recovery process. 

Unlike in traditional open surgery, where the patient stays at the hospital for several days to recover, patients undergoing minimally invasive procedures can even return home on the same day.

Choosing minimally invasive surgery over traditional surgery comes with many benefits. Unlike traditional open surgery, patients who opt for minimally invasive surgeries frequently experience:

  • Decreased post-surgery pain and use of medication.
  • Lower risk of infection or clotting.        
  • Shorter hospital stays (if any).        
  • Faster return to work and normal activities.          
  • Less scarring due to smaller incisions.         

At Women and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, all of our patients benefit from the latest advancements and treatments, as well as the expertise of our highly trained team of urologists, obstetricians, and gynecologists.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a specialist, contact us today.