Minimally Invasive Procedures

Today's gynecological surgeries are easier than ever for patients, thanks to new minimally invasive procedures.

Uterine fibroid ablation

A procedure called uterine fibroid ablation provides a cure for abnormal or heavy bleeding caused by benign masses on the uterus.

During this minimally invasive procedure, a physician inserts a sophisticated instrument called a hysteroscope into the uterus through the vagina. Using heat, the hysteroscope kills the fibroids by damaging the arterial branches that supply them with blood, curing the patient of her fibroid pain almost instantly.

"Ablation has about a 90 percent success rate for uterine fibroids," said Steven Dakoyannis, MD, board-certified OB/GYN on staff at Melrose Wakefield Hospital. "Most patients will revert to a regular menstrual period following the procedure."

This procedure is recommended only for women who have completed their childbearing.

Minimally invasive tubal ligation

Women wishing to prevent any future pregnancies with tubal ligation will also benefit from the hysteroscope. Now doctors are able to reach the fallopian tubes through the patient's vagina in an outpatient procedure.

"While the patient is under local anesthesia, the doctor places tiny coils into her fallopian tubes, resulting in scar tissue that develops over the next three months," Dr. Dakoyannis said. "Once the scar tissue develops, this type of tubal ligation becomes a very effective form of birth control."

Uterine fibroid embolization

A nonsurgical alternative to treat abnormal bleeding caused by fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). In this minimally invasive procedure, an interventional radiologist maps the blood supply to the uterus and fibroid with fluoroscopy (X-ray imaging). A catheter is then inserted into a small incision in the groin to inject small particles that block the blood supply to the fibroids, effectively killing them.

"UFE is a viable alternative to hysterectomy," said Wayne Wivell, MD, chief of interventional radiology at Melrose Wakefield Hospital. "With UFE, women are typically hospitalized for one night and often are able to return to work within a week."

For a gynecological surgeon or interventional radiologist, please call our physician referral line at 800-540-9191.

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