What are the Risks and/or Side Effects?
Every surgery has risks. Risks and complications of gynecological surgery depend on the type of procedure. These include:
- Major bleeding
- Uterine perforation or damage to the wall of the uterus, which can cause bleeding at the time of surgery or after surgery
- Damage to a nearby part of the body like the bowel because the parts of a woman’s reproductive system are very close to other organs
- Urinary tract (kidney or bladder) infection
- Damage to the urinary tract, which can cause incontinence
- Temporary difficulty with going to the bathroom
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clot
- Nausea and vomiting after surgery
- Belly pain and pressure after surgery
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of surgery depend on the type of surgery and its purpose. For example, the benefit of removing a cancerous tumor is preventing further spread of the disease. Other surgeries are done to relieve pain or help with incontinence. Some procedures are done for diagnosis — for example, to look inside the uterus or bladder for any problems.
How Do I Prepare?
Each gynecologic surgery is different. Talk with your doctor about how to prepare for your procedure.
How is it Done or Administered?
Intermountain’s gynecologic surgery team uses the least invasive methods possible for surgery. Many gynecologic surgeries are done as laparoscopic surgeries. This means the doctor does the surgery by using a laparoscope, which lets the doctor look inside the body and do the surgery without opening the body up. With laparoscopic surgery, the incisions (cuts) are much smaller than with open surgery. Recovery time is typically faster and there is a smaller risk of infection.
A hysterectomy may be done as a robot-assisted hysterectomy. With this surgery, the doctor does a laparoscopic surgery using a computer to control the surgical instruments
When Will I Know the Results?
Each gynecologic surgery is different. Talk with your doctor about when you will know the results.
What are Follow-up Requirements and Options?
Follow up for each gynecologic surgery is different and depends on the reason for the surgery. For example, surgery to remove a cancerous tumor might be followed up by other treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. Talk to your doctor about what to do after surgery.
What Should I Expect During Recovery?
Recovery time and care for each gynecologic surgery is different. Talk to your doctor about what to expect during recovery.
What is Gynecologic Surgery?
Gynecologic surgery is surgery on any part of a woman’s reproductive system, including the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Gynecologic surgeons often do procedures on a woman’s urinary tract as well, including the bladder.
Some gynecologic surgeries are simple and may be done in at the gynecologist’s office, while others are done in the hospital. Common gynecologic surgeries include:
- Tubal ligation (tubes tied)
- Removal of ovarian cysts (non-cancerous growths on an ovary)
- Removal of cysts or fibroids (non-cancerous growths) in the uterus
- Removal of growths from the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina)
- Uterine artery embolization, which cuts off the blood supply to a uterine fibroid so it gets smaller
- Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), ovaries, or other parts of a woman’s reproductive system
- Surgical treatment of gynecological (cervical, uterine, and ovarian) cancers
- Cystoscopy, which is a procedure that lets the doctor look inside the urinary tract to check for growths, bladder stones, or other problems
- Hysteroscopy, which is a procedure that lets the doctor look inside the uterus by inserting a thin tube through the vagina and cervix