Minimally Invasive Surgery

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is a surgical approach in which small skin incisions (less than an inch in size) and specialized tools are used to perform the surgery. This includes specialized procedures such as hysteroscopy and laparoscopy.

Hysteroscopy uses a small, narrow telescope (a hysteroscope) to allow for visualization of the inside of the uterine cavity without the need for any incisions. This is often performed when evaluating for abnormal uterine bleeding. Hysteroscopy allows for visualization of the uterine cavity (the endometrium) without any incisions. This procedure is often performed to evaluate causes of abnormal bleeding, pain, fibroids, polyps, intrauterine scar tissue, or other structural abnormalities.

Specialized hysteroscopes even allow for the treatment of these conditions via removal of the fibroids, polyps, or scar tissue. A technique called endometrial ablation can also remove all of the above. Endometrial ablation is a possible treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding.

Laparoscopy uses a small telescope through small abdominal skin incisions to evaluate the pelvic anatomy (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes). The laparoscope (camera) sends live pictures to a video monitor, which allows the surgeon to visualize the anatomy and perform complex surgeries with minimal trauma to the patient. Laparoscopic surgery may be appropriate for the evaluation and treatment of endometriosis, pelvic pain, scar tissue, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts. Laparoscopy is also a commonly utilized approach for the safe removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or ovaries (oophorectomy).