When gynecologic surgery is necessary, you want medical professionals who will treat you with sensitivity and help you select the most appropriate and effective medical approach for your health needs. Through the Sutter Health network, you gain access to the latest in minimally invasive gynecologic surgical methods.
Gynecologic Surgery Options
Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of the uterine lining that can cause a number of problems ranging from severe pain during menstruation to scarring, cysts and even infertility. To help, gynecologists can remove endometrial growths using laparoscopy, a minimally invasive method, or laparotomy, which uses a bikini line incision.
To ease excessively heavy periods, your doctor can perform endometrial ablation, a procedure that destroys the lining of the uterus by cauterizing it using a source of heat. Women still wishing to conceive may instead choose dilation and curettage (D&C), which involves scraping the walls of the uterus.
Occasionally an overgrowth of cells in the endometrium causes endometrial polyps to form. These are usually noncancerous, but your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy to check for cancer or to remove polyps as a precautionary measure. Women experiencing infertility because of endometriosis may need advanced fertility treatments through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
Uterine and Ovarian Procedures
Approximately 8 in 10 women experience uterine fibroids during their lifetime. Ovarian cysts, pouch-like, fluid-filled growths, are also common.
Your doctor can typically treat or remove fibroids and cysts through minimally invasive surgery. The goal is to remove the growths but keep the uterus and ovaries intact and functional – important if you want to get pregnant or prevent early menopause. Occasionally, however, ovarian cyst removal will require removing the ovary as well. Your doctor may use minimally invasive surgery to treat other conditions as well, including ectopic pregnancy.
Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) involves injecting microscopic pellets into the arteries that provide blood to a fibroid, causing the fibroid to shrink as it is starved of its blood supply.
If your uterus needs to be removed, surgeons offer the latest in minimally invasive hysterectomy procedures.
Some surgeons in the Sutter Health network also offer da Vinci Computer-Assisted Surgery. This procedure, used for hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries, incorporates both computer and robotic technologies to give surgeons clear, 3D visualization of the organs and precise movement of micro-instruments. It generally leads to less pain, faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.
Vaginal and Cervical Surgery
To remove abnormal tissue in your lower gynecological tract, including genital warts, gynecologists perform in-office, minimally invasive procedures in addition to traditional surgery. Your doctor may dissolve the growth using cold (cryosurgery) or heat (electrocauterization).
Up to one in three women experience abnormal uterine bleeding. Depending on the cause, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery may be able to treat it with less bleeding or scarring, faster recovery and lower infection risk than traditional surgery.