If you are facing gynecological surgery, here's the good news: most surgery techniques that gynecologists use today are highly advanced and minimally invasive. There is so much that a gynecologist can do with just a few main techniques, from hysterectomies, to treating for infertility, to removing painful and bothersome fibroids.
Join us as we take a look at the three surgical procedures our Gainesville physicians, as well as most gynecologists nationwide, most commonly perform.
The hysterocope is a thin telescopic tube that a surgeon inserts through the vagina and into the uterus. Once inside the uterus, the hysteroscope transmits images of a patient’s uterus onto a screen for the physician to view. Gynecologists generally perform a hysteroscopy to diagnose certain conditions, but they can also insert other tools through the hysteroscope to perform procedures as needed.
A hysteroscopy may occur in a gynecologist's office or in a hospital. For the procedure, patients are given either general anesthesia (which will put you to sleep) or local anesthesia. The doctor then inserts a speculum to hold the vaginal walls apart. Then they insert the hysteroscope through the vagina and cervix, and into the uterus.
A saline solution is passed through the hysteroscope into the uterus. This fluid expands the uterus and allows the surgeon to see the uterus more clearly. Hysteroscopy is an out-patient procedure. Your doctor may give you medication for pain that may last for a few days following the procedure.
A hysteroscopy may be used as a diagnostic tool, or to perform:
The advantages of a hysteroscopy is that it requires no major incision of any kind and patients typically recover quickly. However, its limitation is that the procedure only allows doctors to look at and treat problems within the uterine cavity.
A laparoscope is a fiber-optic tube with a tiny video camera on the end. This camera projects the images it sees onto a screen. A gynecologist inserts the laparoscope through a tiny insertion made near your belly button.
Depending on the procedure, your surgeon may make several other small incisions to allow for the use of other surgical tools. Laparoscopic surgery is less invasive than traditional surgical practices which require a surgeon to make a much larger incision to access a woman’s uterus.
Laparoscopy requires anesthesia, but is usually an outpatient procedure, unless a patient undergoes a more complex procedure like a laparoscopic hysterectomy. Similar to a hysteroscopy, there are many uses for laparoscopy, including:
Laparoscopy has the benefit of being able to achieve a lot while still being minimally invasive, though this procedure has a slightly longer recovery time compared to hysteroscopy.
Your gynecologist may recommend robotic surgery as the best technique for certain procedures, such as a hysterectomy. A robotic hysterectomy is similar in procedure to a laparoscopy, except that the robotic arm helps the surgeon use surgical tools easier. The robot also enhances precision and visibility of the surgery site.
Robotic surgery can also be used tubal ligations.
Above all, it’s important to remember that your gynecologist has reasons for the surgical procedure they choose. Laparoscopy, hysteroscopy and robotic surgery are all safe and effective means of surgery for a skilled surgeon. If you ever have any questions about your gynecological surgery, please do not hesitate to ask.
The expert gynecologists at All About Women are highly trained surgeons who provide the highest quality of care to women in Gainesville, Lake City and the surrounding communities of Perry, Live Oak and Ocala. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our compassionate care providers.