What is minimally invasive surgery and how do gynecologists use this type of technique? From diagnostic imagery to treatments for fibroids and endometriosis, minimally invasive procedures have benefits over traditional (or open) surgeries. Before you select one surgical option, take a look at what you need to know about your choices.
What Does Minimally Invasive Mean?
A minimally invasive procedure is exactly what the name implies. This type of surgery uses less invasive types of techniques. A traditional or open surgical procedure requires the surgeon to make larger incisions (surgical cuts with a scalpel or other medical tool). In comparison, a minimally invasive option uses smaller, fewer, or possibly even no incisions.
Do Minimally Invasive Gynecology Procedures Require an Overnight Hospital Stay?
There's no universal answer to this question. Some minimally invasive gynecology procedures are done on an outpatient basis. This means you won't need to stay in the hospital overnight. But others may require a hospital stay. Factors such as the type of surgery, your overall health, the surgical outcome, potential complications, and recovery time impact the doctor's decision to keep you in the hospital overnight or not.
What Types of Gynecological Conditions Can Doctors Treat With This Type of Surgery?
Talk to your OBGYN if you think you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. Doctors perform these surgeries for a variety of reasons, including diagnostic procedures that help the doctor to image the cervix, uterus, or ovaries and treatments for conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, gynecological cancers, ovarian cysts, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic adhesions, and uterine polyps.
What Types of Minimally Invasive Procedures Are Available?
The surgeon will choose the procedure based on your individual gynecological and healthcare needs. The most common types of gynecological minimally invasive techniques include the following:
After the surgeon makes a small incision, they will place a small tube with a camera on one end (a laparoscope) into your body. The laparoscope sends an image to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the internal area during the procedure.
Instead of a wide incision, the surgeon will thread a narrow lighted camera (known as a hysteroscope) and medical tools into the uterus.
Some of these procedures include multiple techniques. The surgeon may use a laparoscope and a vaginal approach (incision) or a robot-assisted option.
Whether you need a laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, or another type of procedure, these techniques can reduce scarring, provide a faster recovery time, have less overall pain, and may cause less blood loss in comparison to open surgical methods.
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