Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) replaces the use of large incisions into the abdomen with smaller incisions (or in some cases, no incisions), which allow the surgeon to view the inside of the body with a small camera and manipulate the internal organs with small surgical tools. By taking this minimally-invasive approach, surgeons have been able to reduce the pain and blood loss associate with surgery, allowing patients to resume their normal routine 1-2 weeks instead of after more than a month as is the case with “open” surgeries.
There are two main types of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery:
Laparoscopic Surgery involves the use of 1-4 small incisions on the abdomen, through which tiny cameras, lights, and surgical tools are threaded by way of an entry “port” called a trocar. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon views the inside of the abdomen on a video screen in the operating room while also manipulating surgical tools like graspers and scissors from outside of the abdomen. In some cases, laparoscopic surgery may involve the use of a robot, in which case the surgeon sits at a video station near the patient and manipulates surgical tools that are connected to the arms of the robot remotely.
Hysteroscopic Surgery allows the surgeon to enter the body without any incision, most commonly through the vagina. In the case of hysteroscopy, the surgeon will thread a small camera and light through the vagina and cervix to view the inside of the uterus. Depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon may also thread other tools through the opening in order to complete the procedure.