Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Procedures

Showing our commitment to adopting advanced technologies

Our team of specialists uses the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques – allowing for more precise incisions, less discomfort and risk of infection, and a faster recovery. 

Find a Specialist
Location Finder

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is preferred for many conditions over traditional, or open, surgery. Unlike open surgery, which requires your provider to make larger incisions, minimally invasive procedures use smaller incisions, allowing you to recover faster often with less pain and discomfort and can also be performed as an outpatient procedure.

Several small incisions will enable the surgeon to insert tiny cameras and specialized tools to perform the surgery. Further technological developments have allowed for newer, more advanced forms of minimally invasive surgery.

Single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS)

A SILS operation, available at select Novant Health locations, is similar to standard laparoscopic surgery, except the entire operation is performed through a single incision in the belly button. This approach reduces the physical trauma in routine procedures and virtually eliminates scarring.

What is robotic surgery?

Robotic surgery uses advanced automated tools and 3D imaging to allow your surgeon to better view the surgery site and perform tiny movements with a level of precision that isn't possible when operating by hand.

How does robotic surgery help?

At Novant Health, we use the da Vinci Surgical System for our robotic gynecological operations. This set of tools includes a camera that magnifies the surgical site tenfold. These robotic tools filter out tremors, giving your surgeon a smoother, calmer hand than would be possible in traditional surgery.

Benefits of a robotic-assisted procedure include:

  • Reduced bleeding
  • Less scar tissue
  • Shorter recovery times
  • Lower risk of infection

Your surgeon will determine whether robotic surgery is right for you based on your medical history and the type of operation you need to have.

Types of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeries

Your provider may recommend a hysterectomy – a procedure to remove your uterus –  to resolve or treat various conditions, including uterine cancer, fibroids, chronic pain or severe endometriosis.

Depending on your situation, the hysterectomy can be performed through the abdomen via an incision or through the vagina. Abdominal hysterectomies are more common when the surgeon removes the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Vaginal hysterectomies are more standard in cases of uterine prolapse.

In this procedure, sometimes referred to as a "D&C," your provider will dilate the lower part of the uterus and use special tools to clean the uterine lining and remove unwanted tissues. That helps prevent infection and remove fibroids or cancerous growths. This procedure may be performed by your ob-gyn after an abortion or miscarriage.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the cells of the uterine lining spread outside the uterus. Depending on the location of the endometriosis, it can cause severe pain and may reduce fertility. Endometriosis is sometimes treated with medication, while more serious cases involve laparoscopic surgery to remove the endometriosis growths.

A hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a tiny camera to inspect the inside of the uterus. It may be used to diagnose conditions or gain more information about symptoms like unexpected vaginal bleeding. A hysteroscopy may be performed instead of a D&C to remove growths like uterine fibroids.

Roughly 25% of women will experience noncancerous growths in the uterus called fibroids. These growths can cause pain or bleeding and may interfere with other normal functions by blocking openings or applying pressure to other organs. Your surgeon can perform a minimally invasive laparoscopic treatment to remove these fibroids with minimal scarring and quicker recovery.

Minimally invasive surgery is also one method used to treat a type of urinary incontinence called "stress incontinence." The name refers to physical stress and occurs when unexpected actions like coughing squeeze your bladder and cause you to release urine. Some cases of stress incontinence can be treated without surgery through methods such as pelvic floor therapy.

In other cases, your physician may recommend other options, such as inserting a bladder sling. A bladder sling places a small amount of pressure on the urethra — the tube that urine exits through — and compresses it enough for you to regain control of your bladder. The sling can be placed using a minimally invasive procedure.