Gynecological surgery encompasses any type of surgical procedure performed on the female reproductive system. Two of the main types of gynecological surgery are hysterectomy, a procedure that removes the uterus, and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes; and myomectomy, a procedure that removes uterine fibroids. Both can be performed laparoscopically or through open abdominal surgery.
Types of Gynecological Surgery
In addition to hysterectomy and myomectomy, additional types of gynecological surgery include the following:
- Loop electrode excision procedure (LEEP)
- Endometrial ablation
- Removal of fallopian tubes or ovaries
- Removal of ovarian cysts
- Laparoscopic sterilization
- Vulvar vestibulectomy
Laparoscopy may be performed for diagnostic or operative purposes.
Reasons for Gynecological Surgery
When conservative forms of treatment such as medication fail, certain patients may benefit from surgery that provides long-term, significant symptom relief. Women typically undergo gynecological surgery as treatment for the following conditions:
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic pain
- Ovarian cysts
- Severe menstrual cramping
- Fibroid tumors
- Pressure on the bladder
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
Gynecological surgery offers numerous benefits, including relief of severe pain, evaluation of health problems and treatment of serious conditions. Although it is generally considered safe, risks of gynecological surgery include blood loss, and bowel or bladder injuries.
Although gynecological surgery has traditionally involved an invasive procedure with large incisions and a lengthy recovery time, innovations such as laparoscopy, allow certain types of surgery to be performed in a minimally invasive manner. Thanks to laparoscopy, in which small instruments and tiny cameras are used, gynecological procedures can now be performed through small incisions, significantly reducing the recovery time and postoperative pain of traditional open surgery.