For many patients, the thought of having gynecologic surgery can be worrisome. Thanks to minimally invasive surgery techniques, however, most women can now undergo surgery with minimal interruption to their lives. Benefits include a shorter hospital stay, minimal pain after surgery, less chance for surgical and post-operative complications, and less blood loss. My patient “Sue” is a good example. I recently performed minimally invasive gynecologic surgery to remove her fibroid tumors. After a short overnight stay in the hospital, she returned home and was back to work within a week.
What is minimally invasive gynecologic surgery?
Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS) is a technique by which traditional pelvic surgery can be accomplished using small incisions or openings, as opposed to traditional “open” surgery (which includes a large abdominal incision). MIGS includes several surgical techniques. Laparoscopy is a procedure where a surgeon uses small incisions (5-10mm) to insert tiny instruments into a patient’s abdomen and perform the operation. Robot-assisted laparoscopy is similar to conventional laparoscopy, except the surgeon controls instruments and camera movement from a separate console in the operating room instead of by hand. Vaginal surgery and hysteroscopy (using a camera and instruments to perform intra-uterine surgery) are also used by physicians specializing in MIGS.