Northwestern Medical Group Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgical Procedure Program
When medication and non-invasive procedures are unable to relieve gynecological symptoms, surgery remains the accepted and most effective treatment for a range of gynecologic conditions including uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Traditional open gynecologic surgery, using a large incision, has been the standard approach to many gynecologic procedures for decades and remains a good option for many circumstances. Open surgery is safe but can result in a longer recovery process and extended time away from normal activities.
Fortunately, less invasive options are available.
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are minimally invasive surgical techniques, which eliminate the need for a large incision. As a result, patients experience less surgical blood loss, lower complication rates, less post-operative pain, and a faster recovery. Most patients can safely go home on the same day following surgery.
Minimally Invasive Office Procedures
Endometrial Ablation: A quick and effective non-hormonal treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding. The endometrium (the lining of the uterus that causes the bleeding) is cauterized. No incisions are necessary and the patient can return to normal activity by the end of the day. For 90 percent of women, menstrual bleeding is dramatically reduced or stopped.
Essure Permanent Birth Control: An incision-free permanent birth control method. Flexible inserts are threaded into the fallopian tubes, which then become blocked after three months.
For complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures, robot-assisted surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option.
Surgeons using the da Vinci System can take advantage of instrumentation that is more sophisticated than standard laparoscopic instruments and operate with greater precision and control, increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent clinical outcomes.
Procedures that may be completed using robot-assisted surgery include:
Hysterectomy: The removal of the uterus, with or without the removal of the ovaries depending on the clinical circumstances and the patient’s desires.
Myomectomy: The removal of uterine fibroids. In contrast to a hysterectomy, the uterus remains preserved and the woman retains her reproductive potential.
Endometriosis Resection: The removal of ovarian cysts and scar tissue caused by endometriosis, which is a condition that can cause chronic pain and infertility.