If you have a benign gynecologic condition for which surgery has been recommended, this section is for you.
Too often, laparotomy (open surgery) is suggested as the only safe way to complete a suggested procedure. Occasionally this is true, but rarely so. Advances in laparoscopic surgery allow us to complete 90% of surgeries for benign gynecologic conditions “through the belly button” (by laparoscopy).
Laparoscopic surgery involves small (1/4 inch) incisions in the abdomen (usually three) through which major surgical procedures can be performed. The first of these incisions is made in the umbilicus (“belly button”). A laparoscope (something like a telescope) is placed through this incision and attached to a small videocamera. The video image is viewed on a HD TV monitor in the operating room. By moving the laparoscope closer to the pelvic organs, magnification up to 6 X can be achieved.
After the laparoscope is placed through the umbilicus, two (rarely three) other small (1/4 inch) incisions are made in the abdomen, usually just above the pubic hairline. Electrodes, lasers, instruments and sutures are passed through these incisions to complete the operation. These instruments are very small (from 1.5 to 4.5 millimeters in diameter).
The combination of small instruments and magnification enable surgical precision that is almost impossible to achieve during open surgery (laparotomy). The precision attained during laparoscopic surgery becomes extremely important when the gynecologist is treating endometriosis, adhesions, ovarian masses, and fibroids.
The advantages of laparoscopic surgery over conventional laparotomy are unquestioned. Most patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery are dismissed the same day, although a few may require an overnight stay in the hospital. Recovery (return to normal activity) from laparoscopic surgery is 3 to 5 weeks shorter than comparable procedures performed at laparotomy. Patients experience less postoperative pain, shorter and more comfortable recovery, outcomes are at least as good (if not better), and costs to the healthcare system are less.
Dr. Johns and Dr. Maxwell have a combined experience of over 13,000 surgical procedures. Dr. Johns has taught laparoscopic surgical techniques around the world and in the U.S. since the mid-1980’s.
If you think you need surgery for a benign gynecologic condition and would like to schedule a consultation, give us a call.
For further information on specific procedures or conditions, follow the links below.