For women who are in need of gynecological surgery, the idea of “going under the knife” or “getting cut open” (especially “down there”) can be enough to scare off even the bravest and most confident of us.
But thanks to advances in surgical procedures, women today have many minimally invasive surgical options. In fact, it’s never been safer to get the surgery you need.
What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
To understand what minimally invasive surgery is, let’s look at what it’s not.
Traditional, or “open,” surgery involves making an abdominal incision large enough for the surgeon to see the area well and navigate the site with surgical tools. Although surgeons do their best to make the surgical incision as small as possible, there are practical limitations with this type of surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS), meanwhile, utilizes modern advances in technology that allow a surgeon to perform procedures using very small incisions, or in some cases, no incision at all.
Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Any type of surgery that isn’t open surgery and that involves minimal incisions can be considered minimally invasive surgery. However, there are two main types that we will explore here. Both use technology inserted through small incisions or natural orifices to perform the operation. Which one is used depends on the specific protocol of a particular surgery.
Endoscopic surgery involves making small incisions – often less than an inch each – and inserting a small tube equipped with a tiny camera, and other tubes with microsurgery tools as appropriate. The tube can also be inserted through a natural orifice, such as the mouth or cervix, depending on the location to be operated on and the type of surgery.
The camera allows the surgeon to see an enlarged view of the surgical area for clear viewing. The small surgical tools give the surgeon the ability to make very precise cuts and sutures.
Other terms you might hear used for this type of surgery include:
- Keyhole surgery
Like with endoscopic surgery, microscopic cameras and tools are inserted through small incisions. However, during robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon operates from a console with controllers and a high-definition screen. When the surgeon makes a movement with the controllers, the computer makes the movement more precise.
Robotic-assisted surgery is appropriate for delicate surgeries that benefit from the computer’s ability to perform movements that are more precise than what the human hand is capable of.
With both types of MIS, the surgeon is still very much in control of the operation, regardless of the technology used.
Like all surgeries, minimally invasive surgeries require a professional surgery center and well-trained medical staff with experience performing these types of procedures. Anesthesia needs vary; your doctor will discuss your options with you.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery
MIS is generally considered safer and more effective than traditional open surgery. Benefits include:
- Smaller incisions
- Lower risk of infection
- Reduced blood loss
- Less pain
- Minimized scarring
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery time
The smaller incision means less healing time for the patient, and it reduces the chance of infection. This, in turn, leads to a shorter hospital stay and reduced expenses for the patient.
Professional women, in particular, enjoy the benefit of being able to rehabilitate to full capacity as quickly as possible, while still taking enough time for a full recovery after surgery.
How to Know If Minimally Invasive Surgery Is Right for You
Gynecological conditions that improve after minimally invasive surgery include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Cervical incompetence
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Pelvic pain
Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery in Phoenix, Arizona
Our experienced surgeons at Arizona Gynecology Consultants are well-practiced in advanced surgery techniques like minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Kelly Roy is our in-house specialist in gynecology and advanced endoscopy.
If you’ve been putting off a surgery or aren’t sure if your situation warrants surgery, make an appointment today to meet with one of our gynecological specialists. We have offices in multiple locations in the Phoenix area.
Whatever your surgical or reproductive needs, we’ll help you feel safe and well-cared for when you join the Arizona Gynecology Consultants family!
Founder and Medical Director of ARIZONA GYNECOLOGY CONSULTANTS
Dr. Kelly Roy is a specialist in surgical gynecology and advanced laparoscopy (and hysteroscopy). She is a long-time resident of Arizona and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University before finishing her Doctorate of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1997.
Dr. Roy completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the then “Banner Good Samaritan Hospital” (now Banner University Medical Center), in Phoenix Arizona in 2001.
Well known for her teaching and surgical ability, she is on the faculty at the residency program at both Banner University Medical Center and Saint Joseph’s Hospital in central Phoenix and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Campus. Dr. Roy has taught advanced surgical techniques to medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues for over 15 years.
Dr. Roy is also a consultant to the medical device industry and has participated in the design and clinical testing of many instruments and surgical devices available on the world-wide market today.