Minimally invasive surgery is a viable option for women with a variety of gynecologic conditions, and it offers a host of benefits over traditional surgery.
“In many instances, minimally invasive surgery replaces the need for larger incisions that are typical of traditional abdominal surgery. Our goal is to manage each patient’s problems in a way that is unique to them and achieve an excellent outcome with the least possible impact and disruption to their lives,” says Joelle Aoun Abood, M.D., a gynecologist who is fellowship-trained in advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and robotics, at Henry Ford Health.
Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery includes a variety of advanced surgical techniques that allow the surgeon to enter the abdomen through small incisions or natural orifices to complete a wide range of complex surgical procedures such as laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, robotic surgery and vaginal surgery.
Conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive approaches include: uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis (where the inner lining of the uterus, the endometrium, grows into the uterine wall), ovarian cysts, heavy or painful menstrual cycles, uterine polyps, pelvic floor support, complications from scar tissues (adhesions), tubal pregnancies (ectopic pregnancy) and pelvic pain.
Here, Dr. Abood provides insight into some of the principal benefits of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery:
What Are the Physical Benefits?
From less stress on the body to a smaller incision size, there are numerous benefits minimally invasive techniques offer.
“Whenever surgery is necessary, we are committed to making sure that all women are aware of their minimally invasive surgical options,” Dr. Abood says. “These techniques are associated with less pain, quicker recovery, lower risks of infection and bleeding, shorter duration of hospitalization, and less scaring as compared to traditional surgeries performed through large abdominal incisions.”
All of these benefits help patients feel more comfortable, and ultimately help them get back to their lives quicker.
“We have implemented a ‘same-day discharge’ protocol for eligible patients, which helps to enhance recovery even more,” she says. “This model encourages patients to be mobile and eating shortly after the procedure. It also involves the removal of the urine catheter while the patient is still under anesthesia, and allows patients to manage any pain with oral medication. All of this greatly enhances the recovery process.”
What Are the Psychological Benefits?
The physical benefits of minimally invasive techniques translate into positive psychological effect on patients as well.
“Our patients are educated on the path to quick recovery, and they play a large part in this process. We believe in educating and empowering patients to achieve the best results,” Dr. Abood says. “Patients are able to have surgery in the morning and go home the same day, and they love it.”
Dr. Abood notes that in the hands of trained surgeons, minimally invasive surgery can be less daunting for patients, and provide the least amount of burden on them and their loved ones.
The Future of Gynecologic Surgery
While minimally invasive techniques have helped transform gynecologic surgery, advancements are being made every day to help make procedures more efficient, safer, and even to widen the scope of surgery options that can be offered to patients.
“The potential is endless,” Dr. Abood says. “We have to remember however, that what technology is offering us is just better tools to achieve our tasks. Best outcomes are still dependent on safe surgeons, great quality of care and more importantly avoiding unnecessary and non-indicated surgery.”
To learn more about minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at Henry Ford or to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist, visit henryford.com.
Dr. Joelle Aoun Abood is a gynecologist who is fellowship-trained in advanced minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and robotics. She sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Center – Ford Road in Dearborn, Henry Ford Medical Center – Troy and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.