The most common minimally invasive surgery is laparoscopy. Rather than a large open incision, surgery is done through a few small incisions using a tiny camera and long, thin surgical instruments. The camera takes images inside your body, and those images are sent to a video monitor in the operating room which guides surgeons as they operate.
Laparoscopy is an examination of the interior of the abdomen by means of an instrument called a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a small telescope-like instrument with a light on one end which is passed through a small incision below the navel. This allows the physician to view and examine the organs in the abdominal cavity.
Laparoscopy is best used for examining the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and uterus. It can also be used as an alternative for exploratory surgery in the abdominal cavity. Minor surgery can be performed through the laparoscope by using special instruments, such as a laser, and by an additional small incision in the lower part of the abdomen. Laparoscopy can also be used for examining the liver, gallbladder, and appendix, but the views are not as complete as the views of the reproductive organs.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus. The fallopian tubes and ovaries are removed at the same time.
Hysterectomies are performed for a variety of reasons including cancer of the uterus; endometriosis; excessive bleeding which does not respond to hormone therapy; severe, persistent pelvic pain; prolapsed uterus; or relaxation of the uterus.
The uterus may be removed through an incision in the abdomen. More recently, laparoscopy has allowed surgeons to remove the uterus through the vagina rather than through the larger abdominal incision. Laparoscopy involves telescope-like instruments inserted through a small incision below the navel.
The procedure takes about two and one-half to three hours and is generally performed using general anesthesia. Complete recovery from a hysterectomy generally takes about six weeks. For women who have had their uteruses removed by laparoscopy, the recovery time is usually shorter. When the ovaries are removed, hormone production stops, and replacement hormone therapy may be recommended.
Visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website for more information.
Myomectomy (Fibroid Removal)
To learn about fibroid removal surgery (myomectomy) and your options, go to: Myomectomy Surgery.