What is minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a technique that uses smaller incisions and less invasive approaches to perform an array of surgical procedures. There is no doubt that MIS has challenged the notion that “bigger is better,” and there are a variety of surgical techniques that encompass the MIS approach compared to traditional or “open” surgery. These techniques include hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, and robotic surgery.
Which conditions can be treated using minimally invasive techniques?
- The most common causes of abnormal uterine bleeding, including:
- Uterine polyps
- Ovarian cysts
- Risk reduction – prophylactic removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries for those at higher risk for cancer
- Female sterilization
- Anatomical abnormalities related to infertility
- Evaluation of chronic pelvic pain
What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery?
- Shorter recovery time
- Smaller incisions and less visible skin scars
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker return to normal activities.
There is also less pain, less narcotic use, less bleeding, and less risk of infection. It may also reduce scar tissue that often forms in the abdomen after traditional or open incisions.
Are there any risks? There are risks with any procedure. Complications seen in traditional surgeries tend to be minimized by using laparoscopic techniques. The most common complications include bleeding, infection, and pain, but these are known to occur less frequently using MIS techniques. There is also the risk of damage to surrounding structures, such as the bladder, the bowel, blood vessels or nerves. Usually, these injuries can be corrected during the same surgical procedure. Because we know these complications exist, we prefer to utilize medical management (medications, IUD) before undergoing surgery.
Am I a candidate for minimally invasive surgery? It is important to select the appropriate patient for MIS. Rarely, an open surgical approach is still necessary. There are very few absolute contraindications to MIS, therefore most patients are candidates. Patients with a history of severe scar tissue in the abdomen are at increased risk of complications. If you were told that you were not a candidate for an MIS procedure in the past, we would be happy to offer a second opinion.
Does Bloom Ob/Gyn offer MIS? YES! Dr. Meagan Slate has an unwavering passion for minimally invasive surgery with extensive training both here in the US and at several top European hospitals, perfecting her surgical skills for a variety of gynecologic procedures. It was during this time that she recognized the importance of perioperative wellness, which led her to initiate an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program at her institution. She continues to utilize these tools to ensure that our patients always experience an enhanced recovery. The success of her design in minimizing narcotic use was recognized by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), who invited Dr. Slate to speak at their Global Congress in Vancouver, Canada.