Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gynecologic Conditions
Loyola Medicine offers innovative minimally invasive gynecology surgery as a treatment for many gynecologic conditions. Your healthcare team will explore conservative, nonsurgical treatments first. If these options are not able to improve your condition, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Loyola’s board-certified gynecologic surgeons have vast experience using laparoscopy and the Da Vinci® robotic system to provide patients with less scarring, less blood loss, less pain and shorter recovery times than traditional surgical techniques. Your surgeon may recommend minimally invasive surgery for the following conditions:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Benign ovarian cysts
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Endometrial polyps
- Polyp removal (polypectomy)
- Preventive surgical removal of ovaries for patients at high risk of cancer
- Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy)
- Uterine fibroids (myomas)
Minimally invasive surgery is often used to perform biopsies, which are used to detect cancer and other conditions. If a malignancy is confirmed, your doctor may use medication, radiation or chemotherapy to treat the cancerous cells. Minimally invasive surgery or traditional surgery may also be used to remove gynecologic cancers.
Why Choose Loyola for Gynecology Surgery?
Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for women needing gynecologic surgery, bringing together specialists in gynecology, gynecologic surgery, female pelvic health and reconstructive surgery and urogynecology to provide women with advanced care in a compassionate environment.
As part of an academic medical center, Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. Our doctors and advanced practice nurses provide preventive care for women of all ages, from young girls to menopausal women.
In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care. If you are dealing with a gynecologic issue that has been difficult to diagnose or treat, we would welcome the opportunity to offer a second opinion.
Gynecologic Surgeries Available at Loyola
Loyola’s gynecologic surgeons specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of benign gynecologic conditions. If you have gynecologic cancer, your healthcare team will refer you to our highly skilled gynecologic oncology program for the best possible outcome.
Our gynecologic surgery team has received specialized training to diagnose complex conditions and provide the most advanced treatment options. Your doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition, which may include:
- Endometrial treatments — Your doctor may recommend either medical or surgical treatment for endometriosis. Medical treatment may include pain medication and hormone therapy. If surgery is deemed the best course of action and you are a good candidate, your surgeon will suggest minimally invasive surgery. Some cases, however, may require traditional surgery.
- Hysterectomy — The uterus may be surgically removed to treat abnormal bleeding, endometriosis, painful fibroids, pelvic pain, uterine prolapse, cervical or uterine cancers. Your surgeon may suggest laparoscopic or physician-guided robotic surgery for this procedure.
- Hysteroscopy — Used in both inpatient and outpatient settings, your surgeon may use a medical lighted tube to examine the cervix and interior uterine walls, or remove fibroids or polyps.
- Myomectomy — This surgery removes fibroids from the uterus via laparoscopic or traditional surgery.
- Oophorectomy — The surgical removal of the ovaries can be performed alone or in conjunction with the removal of the uterus. This often can be performed with minimally invasive surgery. Some women opt for this surgery if they are at high risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Ovarian cystectomy — Ovarian cysts can be removed with minimally invasive surgery.
- Supracervical hysterectomy — This surgical option may be used to treat abnormal bleeding, endometriosis, fibroids and other uterine conditions; it involves the removal of the uterus, but not the cervix. This operation may be offered as an alternative to a total hysterectomy and can be performed with minimally invasive surgery.
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE) — UAE is a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids in which embolic agents are injected into the uterine arteries through a catheter. This procedure cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink; it often relieves the pain, pressure and bleeding resulting from fibroids. This procedure may also be called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
What to Expect
What to Expect with Gynecology Surgery
Loyola offers two types of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery: laparoscopic surgery and physician-guided robotic surgery. With laparoscopy, you will be prepped for surgery and put under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. Your surgeon will make one or more small incisions in your abdomen and insert a thin camera and surgical tools. Your abdomen will be filled with gas, usually carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide, to create space for the surgeon to observe and operate in the pelvic area.
The robotic system works by translating your surgeon’s hand movements on robotic controls into more precise movements of miniaturized instruments. Much like laparoscopy, you will be prepped for surgery and sedated. A tiny camera is inserted through a small incision so that your surgeon can observe 3D images of pelvic organs on a monitor and control the robotic arms from a computer console. The robot’s arms are fully jointed, allowing them to turn and grasp with agility and precision.
After minimally invasive or robotic surgery, most patients go home the same or next day. You should be able to walk the same day as the procedure, but should avoid heavy lifting until your doctor gives you clearance. In general, you should be able to return to many activities within a week.
Although minimally invasive surgery can be more intricate and take longer to perform, our surgeons prefer this method because of its benefits, which include:
- Less pain after surgery
- Less scarring
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Reduced blood loss
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter patient recovery time
- Smaller incisions
Minimally invasive surgery may not be suited for certain operations, conditions or patients. As with any surgery, there are risks—including reactions to medications, problems breathing after surgery, bleeding and infection. Your doctor will let you know if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery.
In some cases, your surgeon may decide for medical reasons to switch to a traditional open surgery during the operation—but only for the benefit of your health and in order to provide you the best care possible.
Advanced Research for the Improvement of Gynecologic Diagnosis and Treatment
Loyola’s expert gynecologic surgery program is actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes. As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.