Women often prefer their OBGYN over their regular doctor for many procedures, but may wonder do obstetricians do surgery, too? While not every OBGYN performs surgery, many do, especially minimally invasive procedures that don’t lead to much downtime for the patient. Specifically, the incredible doctors at Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA perform a variety of robotic surgical procedures to improve their patients’ health.
Do Obstetricians Do Surgery?
Our physicians are trained to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures that are designed to reduce the pain and scarring that are often prominent features of traditional surgeries. We have found that when women are faced with having to endure a major surgery to improve their health and wellness, they choose instead to deal with the symptoms of their condition. Minimally-invasive procedures that accomplish the same goals as more invasive procedures make it easier to choose health and wellness instead.
Traditionally, obstetricians have always had the ability to perform surgical procedures, but they were trained in the “old-school” methods, which often involve significant incisions, major pain, and long recovery times. However, our physicians have mastered advanced robotic surgical technology that decreases the number of incisions involved, reduces the level of pain, and gets you back on your feet faster than ever before. This type of surgery has truly transformed the field of women’s health for the better.
Types of Surgery Performed
The obstetricians at our office are trained to perform all surgical procedures related to a woman’s reproductive system. These surgeries include inpatient procedures such as a hysterectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and myomectomy, and out-patient procedures such as dilation & curettage (D&C), laparoscopic tubal ligation, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), ovarian cystectomy laparoscopy, midurethral sling, endometrial radiofrequency ablation, and hysteroscopy. All procedures are performed on a minimally invasive basis unless another type of procedure is determined beforehand to be more appropriate.
When a woman suffers from a uterine prolapse or fibroids, it may be necessary to remove her uterus to resolve the condition. Based on our assessment and examination, we will recommend either a full hysterectomy or a partial hysterectomy, but either procedure can be performed through minimally invasive methods. If you suffer from uterine or cervical cancer, a full hysterectomy is usually the only option, which involves fully removing the cervix and uterus. A partial hysterectomy involves removing the uterus only.
Partial hysterectomies are often used to treat endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and unusual vaginal bleeding. In some cases, we may recommend a radical hysterectomy, which removes not only the uterus and cervix, but also the top part of the vagina and the tissue surrounding the uterus (the parametrium). This procedure becomes necessary when uterine or cervical cancer has metastasized beyond these two areas. When considering a hysterectomy, we will consider the least severe procedure possible that will treat your condition.
Women who undergo a hysterectomy and have suffered from pelvic organ prolapse usually opt for a sacrocolpopexy at the same time. This surgical procedure reconstructs the female sex organs by carefully separating the vaginal walls from the bladder and rectum, and then inserting a Y-shaped section of mesh to the vaginal walls to return the vagina to its original position. This procedure has traditionally required a six-inch incision across the abdomen, but can now be done through minimally invasive techniques.
This procedure is designed to remove fibroids from a woman’s uterus and is the best surgical option for women who don’t want a hysterectomy because they intend to have children in the future. While having this procedure doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to get pregnant once you’ve fully recovered, it does keep the possibility intact and may increase the chances of conception. The traditional open abdominal surgical method for fibroid removal has a recovery time of up to six weeks.
By using our minimally-invasive approach to removing uterine fibroids, we can reduce your recovery time from six weeks to between two and four weeks. Although this may not sound like a huge improvement, when you have at least two weeks less of pain and lack of mobility, you’ll understand just how beneficial this procedure is compared to the major surgical option that requires a large incision and significant abdominal trauma.
Dilation & Curettage
Dilation & curettage or a D&C is an outpatient procedure that removes tissue from a patient’s uterus. To perform this procedure, the cervix is first dilated to expose the uterine opening. This is the “dilation” part of the procedure. Then, a curette is inserted into the dilated cervix to extend into the uterus. This is the “curettage” portion of the procedure. This surgical procedure is used to treat numerous conditions that affect a woman’s health.
The most common condition that a D&C is used to treat is abnormal vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles that has no known cause. It is also a procedure that women who’ve suffered a miscarriage frequently undergo to remove the fetal tissue from their uterus. Women who have undergone a uterine abortion may also opt for a D&C to remove the remaining tissue following the abortion procedure. This is the least common condition for which a D&C is used.
Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation
If you’ve determined that you no longer want to have the ability to get pregnant, but don’t want to take six weeks off from your job to have a traditional tubal ligation, you may be a candidate for laparoscopic tubal ligation. A laparoscope is a medical instrument to which a camera is affixed to one end. The laparoscope is inserted into a small incision that allows us to view your internal organs without the need to fully open your abdomen.
In a tubal ligation, your fallopian tubes will either be clamped and blocked or severed and sealed to prevent your eggs from making their way to your uterus from your ovaries. The eggs will be absorbed by your fallopian tubes instead of exiting your body during your monthly period. This isn’t harmful to you, and it prevents your eggs from getting fertilized in the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy. Your recovery time is expected to be between two and four weeks.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
This procedure is used as both a diagnostic tool and treatment option for women who have abnormal or cancerous conditions in their lower genital tract, including the cervix and vagina. An electrical current travels through a thin wire loop to trim a thin layer of tissue, which is then sent to a laboratory to test for cancer. As a treatment, this procedure can remove abnormal cells to allow healthy cells to grow in their place.
Ovarian Cystectomy Laparoscopy
An Ovarian cystectomy laparoscopy is a procedure that is designed to remove cysts from a woman’s ovary. Some women can live with cysts on their ovaries for their entire life without ever knowing they’re there, but they can also cause immense pain for other women. Menstrual pain, chronic pelvic pain, and pain during intercourse are indications that you may have cysts on your ovaries that should be removed through this procedure.
Women who have been through childbirth often find their pelvic floor muscles have weakened to the point where they’re incontinent. A midurethral sling can be placed laparoscopically through the obturator canal to provide additional support to the urethra. This procedure takes just 30 minutes to complete on an outpatient basis compared with the traditional surgery that would require general anesthesia in an inpatient setting. There’s no reason to live with urinary stress incontinence with the availability of this solution.
Endometrial Radiofrequency Ablation
If you suffer from an abnormally heavy menstrual flow, we recommend endometrial radiofrequency ablation, which destroys the uterine lining and encourages lighter periods in the future. It can also stop the menstrual flow altogether in some women. This procedure is also used to destroy uterine fibroids through the use of radiofrequency heat. We are able to destroy all fibroids during the same procedure, which is a benefit of laparoscopy over traditional surgery.
A hysteroscopy is a minimally-invasive diagnostic procedure that’s used to diagnose conditions of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. A hysteroscope, which is a lighted cannula, is inserted into the vagina to allow us to examine your internal reproductive organs. Typically, we use this procedure to determine the cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding and to confirm the presence of fibroids, but we also occasionally use it for treatment as well.
We may also use a hysteroscope in conjunction with another procedure like a D&C or laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy to allow the small instruments we use to perform the surgeries to be inserted without additional incisions. We will often use a hysteroscopy to confirm an initial diagnosis made through other tests like an x-ray dye test called a hysterosalpingography, which is meant to determine the fallopian tube and uterine health.
Schedule a Surgical Consultation
If you’re suffering from abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, or pain during intercourse, it may be time to consider a minimally invasive procedure to either diagnose or treat your condition. Contact our amazing obstetricians at Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA today to schedule your initial consultation and get on the path to improved health and wellness.