Minimally Invasive Surgery
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat problems of the genital and pelvic areas. During this procedure, an endoscope (tube) with a camera on the end is inserted through a tiny incision to allow your doctor to closely examine the organs of the area. Surgical instruments can be inserted through additional incisions to treat any identified problems.
Technological advances have brought computers and laparoscopic instruments to the forefront of surgical approaches. This provides patients with a minimally invasive technique that can be utilized in a wide range of procedures.
Laparoscopy is performed under general anesthesia and generally takes 30 to 90 minutes, depending on what is done during the procedure. Laparoscopic surgery significantly shortens a patient’s recovery time and results in fewer complications compared to traditional open surgery. Patients can usually go home shortly after the procedure and return to work and other normal activities the next day. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a week. Laparoscopy is considered a safe procedure with little risk of complications.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure for women suffering from excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding who have not responded to other treatments and cannot or does not wish to undergo a hysterectomy. Endometrial ablation removes or destroys the uterine lining (endometrium) while leaving the ovaries and actual uterus intact. The endometrium heals by scarring, which reduces or stops future uterine bleeding. Approximately 10-20% of patients require a second procedure or hysterectomy if symptoms reappear after a re-growth of the endometrium.
Endometrial ablation is a short outpatient treatment and recovery time varies from a few days to six weeks. Symptoms of recovery include cramping, a small amount of watery discharge mixed with blood, frequent urination, or nausea. Because endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus, the procedure is not for women who still wish to become pregnant. Furthermore, women who have a malignancy or pre-malignant condition of the uterus are not candidates.
An ectopic pregnancy is a type of abnormal pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside of the womb (uterus). Development most commonly begins in one of the fallopian tubes, but can also take place in the ovary, stomach or cervix. The baby is not able to survive in an ectopic pregnancy. Most cases are caused by a blockage that keeps the fertilized egg from moving into the uterus. Past infections or surgery of the fallopian tubes can cause this condition. An ectopic pregnancy can also be caused by birth defects, results of a ruptured appendix or endometriosis.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include abnormal vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, low back pain and nausea. A pelvic exam must be done to diagnose this condition. Since the baby cannot survive this condition, the developing cells must be removed from the mother in order to save her life. If these developing cells rupture, complications can occur, but in most cases the woman has a normal recovery.