Advances in gynecological surgery in recent decades have transformed healthcare in the field of gynecology, increasing the precision of procedures, minimizing risks, and significantly improving women’s care and well-being.
The availability and use of minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, allow us to perform surgeries with millimeter-sized incisions, reduce hospitalization time, promote faster recovery, improve aesthetic results, and, very importantly, also allow for greater preservation of fertility in cases of endometriosis, ovarian tumors, and other conditions.
It’s important to note that while the vast majority of gynecological surgeries can be performed minimally invasively, the choice of surgical technique depends on the nature of the condition and the evaluation by the surgeon.
At Women’s, we will provide you with clear and precise information about the risks and specific advantages of the different types of gynecological surgery that may be most beneficial to you. We will advise you on their suitability and answer any questions you may have, always taking into account your preferences and personal circumstances.
What does gynecological surgery mean?
A gynecologist is a specialized doctor who deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and care of women’s health and well-being.
Gynecological surgery is the branch of surgery that encompasses all surgical interventions related to gynecology, both those related to the pelvic cavity and the reproductive organs, as well as breast surgery.
The type of surgery used depends on the nature of the problem, your overall health, the surgeon’s experience, and your needs and preferences.
What surgeries can a gynecologist perform?
Some of the most common gynecological surgeries and procedures that a gynecologist can perform include:
Hysterectomy: Total removal of the uterus (when the entire uterus is removed) or partial (when a part of the uterus is removed). It can be performed to treat uterine fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, or uterine cancer, among other conditions.
Oophorectomy: Removal of one or both ovaries. It can be unilateral (one ovary) or bilateral (both ovaries). It can be performed to treat ovarian cysts, ovarian tumors, or endometriosis, among other ovarian conditions.
Salpingectomy: Removal of one or both fallopian tubes in cases of ectopic pregnancy, recurrent infections, or to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, among other possible causes.
Mymectomy: Removal of fibroids, also known as fibroids or leiomyomas, which are common benign tumors that grow inside or along the walls of the uterus.
Vaginal Repair Surgery: To correct pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence.
Vulvar Surgery: To treat tumors, precancerous lesions, sebaceous cysts, or aesthetic issues, among other conditions.
Trachelectomy: Partial or total removal of the cervix, which is often done to treat cervical cancer.
Colporrhaphy: Repair surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse, which involves the descent of the bladder, uterus, or rectum into the vagina.
Tuboplasty: Repair of the fallopian tubes, the ducts that connect the ovaries to the uterus, when they are damaged or blocked.
Vulvectomy: Removal of part or all of the vulva, usually performed to treat vulvar cancer or other conditions.
Surgery for the treatment of endometriosis: Can be performed to remove or treat abnormal endometrial tissue.
Biopsies: A medical procedure in which a sample of tissue is taken for further analysis in the laboratory. The main purpose is to diagnose conditions, assess the presence of abnormal or cancerous cells, and guide the most appropriate treatment.
Types of Gynecological Surgeries – What types of surgery exist?
Gynecological surgery can be performed using different methods of access, depending on the medical situation, the type of procedure, and your desires or preferences.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique that allows us to perform surgical interventions through millimeter-sized incisions in the navel or nearby, without the need to open the abdomen.
Through these millimeter-sized incisions, we introduce surgical instruments and a tube with a small camera (laparoscope) that provides an enlarged image displayed on a screen.
Single Port or Single Incision Surgery
Single Port or Single Incision Surgery is highly specialized and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. It is performed through a single, tiny incision in the abdomen, usually in the navel.
Through this small opening, we introduce surgical instruments and a tube with a small camera that allows us to visualize the interior and perform the surgery.
Due to the small incision, we can minimize postoperative pain, shorten hospital stays, and achieve virtually imperceptible aesthetic results.
Robotic surgery is minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery assisted by a robot. It is particularly suitable for complex surgical procedures.
Through robotic arms and articulated clamps, the robot replicates the surgeon’s hand movements in real-time and with complete accuracy.
Both conventional laparoscopic and robotic surgery are safe therapeutic options but should be performed by specialized medical professionals with experience.
Vaginal surgery is a type of gynecological surgery in which access to the internal reproductive organs is achieved through the vagina, without making incisions in the abdomen.
Vaginal surgery is considered less invasive compared to abdominal surgery. It often involves faster recovery, less postoperative pain, and a shorter hospital stay.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the uterus and to treat certain uterine conditions.
It is performed using an instrument called a hysteroscope, which is a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and a camera that provides an enlarged view of the inside of the uterus displayed on a screen.
Abdominal Surgery or Laparotomy
In abdominal gynecological surgery, an incision or cut is made in the abdomen to access the internal reproductive organs, such as the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.
As it is more invasive compared to minimally invasive techniques, it generally involves a longer recovery period, a higher risk of complications, and larger scars.
When is it considered minimally invasive?
Surgery is considered minimally invasive when it is carried out using surgical procedures that minimize the size of incisions or cuts and reduce damage to surrounding tissues.
The surgeon using this surgical technique visualizes the organs with the help of small video cameras and uses small-sized surgical instruments.
Today, a specialized gynecological surgeon with the appropriate experience can perform virtually any gynecological surgery using minimally invasive techniques.
How does minimally invasive surgery differ from conventional surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery and conventional surgery (also known as open surgery or traditional surgery) differ in the surgical techniques used, the incision(s), access to the area being treated, postoperative recovery, and aesthetic results.
Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller incisions (through which surgical instruments and a camera are inserted) than conventional surgery, which involves a larger incision.
Thanks to the smaller incisions, damage to surrounding tissues is minimized, recovery can be faster, and scars are smaller than with conventional surgery.
Access and Visualization of the Work Area
Minimally invasive surgery uses a camera (laparoscope or hysteroscope) to provide real-time, on-screen visualization of the area being operated on.
In conventional surgery, visualization is done directly through the large incision and the opening of the work area.
Minimally invasive surgery uses small, long, and thin surgical instruments specifically designed for this type of surgery, unlike conventional surgery, which uses standard surgical instruments that may be larger and designed for open surgery.
Damage to Surrounding Tissues
In minimally invasive surgery, damage to surrounding tissues is much less than in conventional surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery is associated with faster recovery, less postoperative pain, and a shorter hospital stay compared to conventional surgery.
What are the advantages and risks of surgery?
Surgeries, whether minimally invasive or conventional, can have both advantages and risks. The decision to undergo surgery is based on an assessment of the expected benefits compared to potential risks.
Some benefits of surgery may include:
Surgery allows for precise and effective treatment of various conditions of the female reproductive system, such as fibroids, endometriosis, cancer, or uterine prolapse.
Thanks to minimally invasive techniques, recovery time and hospitalization are reduced, as well as postoperative discomfort and visible scars.
It improves the quality of life and relieves symptoms in chronic cases or those affecting the function or aesthetics of a woman’s genitals.
It preserves fertility in certain procedures that respect the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Some risks of surgery may include:
Adverse reactions to anesthesia: The anesthesia used during surgery can cause adverse reactions, such as allergies, nausea, or respiratory problems.
Undesirable results: In some cases, surgical results may not meet expectations or unexpected complications may arise.
Prolonged recovery: Some surgeries require extended recovery, which may include hospitalization and a subsequent period of rest.
It’s important to note that in most cases, surgeries are performed safely and successfully, and the benefits outweigh the risks.
Gynecological surgery performed at Women’s
At Women’s, we have a team of highly experienced surgeons who specialize in the most advanced surgical procedures and techniques.
We serve women from Barcelona and other parts of Spain, as well as from other countries, who require an accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment tailored to their priorities and preferences.