When you come to us for many gynecologic conditions, we’ll explore all of your options for an effective treatment plan. Sometimes, though, medication and non-invasive procedures are not enough to relieve your symptoms. At these times, surgery may be the most effective treatment. Surgery often is the treatment of choice for, among other conditions, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic pain, uterine bleeding problems, ovarian cysts, pelvic prolapse and incontinence, cancer (cervical, uterine and ovarian) and even prophylactic surgery in women at high risk for certain gynecologic cancers.
In the past, gynecologic surgery typically involved a large, open abdominal incision—creating more trauma to the surrounding tissue, increased pain, and a long recovery period for women hoping to get back to work and family. Faced with the prospect of a painful recovery and being sidelined for weeks, many women understandably avoided the best surgical treatment for their conditions.
Fortunately, you often have the choice of less invasive options today. Some gynecologic procedures can be performed vaginally and don’t even require an external incision. Most others are laparoscopic and involve tiny, 1-2 cm abdominal incisions used for laparoscopy, which allows the surgeon to use a lighted scope and small instruments to reach the internal anatomy needing surgery.
For some complex hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures, robot-assisted surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System may be the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Robotic surgery is laparoscopic surgery with the added technology of the range of motion of the human wrist at the tip of the laparoscopic instrument and 3-dimensional vision.
Laparoscopic surgery offers greater precision and control, minimizing your pain and the risk associated with large incisions. It also increases the likelihood that you’ll recover more quickly, with excellent clinical outcomes. As with any surgery, these outcomes cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. Keep in mind that minimally invasive surgery may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all your treatment options, to compare the risks and benefits of each.
Women First physicians specialize in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and in advanced, complex laparoscopic surgery. Several of our physicians also perform da Vinci robotic gynecologic surgery, and some of our physicians are highly experienced in urogynecologic procedures. Physicians from all over the United States travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to operate and to learn specialized laparoscopic surgery from our physicians.
At Women First, we perform, on average, 300 hysterectomies a year and about 90% of those are minimally invasive.