What is Gynecological Surgery?

Gynecologists trained in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery specialize in evaluating and treating people who have a wide range of noncancerous (benign) gynecologic conditions, including heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia), irregular menstrual periods (metrorrhagia), pelvic pain, endometriosis and ovarian cysts.

Your care is provided either in the exam room or an outpatient surgical suite. A minimally invasive approach has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce discomfort, inconvenience and expense.

Conditions treated

  • Chronic pelvic pain. People with chronic pelvic pain benefit from Mayo Clinic’s multidisciplinary approach to care. Your doctor may involve colleagues who specialize in pain medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, behavioral health, gastroenterology, and minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. If you wish, your Mayo Clinic doctor will consult with your primary provider for long-term management.
  • Endometriosis. People with endometriosis will work with doctors who take a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to this condition. Mayo Clinic is one of the few large academic medical centers engaging in research of endometriosis to improve care and outcomes.
  • Vulvar skin conditions. People with complicated vulvar skin conditions (dermatoses) might be evaluated and treated with a combined effort between a gynecologist and an expert in skin conditions (dermatologist).

Treatment options

Your doctor will talk with you about a range of innovative treatment options and develop an individualized treatment plan that might involve one of these minimally invasive gynecologic approaches:

  • Hysteroscopic surgery. This technique does not require any incisions and has minimal recovery time.
  • Advanced laparoscopic surgery. This technique has been shown to be an effective treatment that results in shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and a shorter recovery period. Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation is a less invasive alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy. It involves no cutting of the uterine tissue, and most women are typically back to normal activity within seven days.
  • Robotic surgery. This approach has the same advantages as advanced laparoscopy, and it allows surgeons to operate with increased precision and accuracy while minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues.
  • Vaginal surgery. This is the most minimally invasive approach to major gynecologic surgery. It has all of the recovery advantages associated with laparoscopic and robotic surgery, while also avoiding any abdominal incisions.

Tests and procedures

Surgeons can perform many of these procedures on an outpatient basis:

  • Cervical loop electrode excision procedure (LEEP) and conization
  • CO-2 laser treatments of lower genital tract dysplasia
  • Diagnostic and operative hysteroscopy
  • Diagnostic and operative laparoscopy
  • Endometrial ablation
  • Hysteroscopic and laparoscopic sterilization
  • Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation
  • Magnetic resonance focused ultrasound for treatment of uterine fibroids
  • Sonohysterography
  • Surgical management of ectopic pregnancy
  • Surgical management of missed or incomplete abortion
  • Surgical treatment of endometriosis
  • Surgical treatment of uterine fibroids
  • Surgical management of congenital anomalies
  • Surgical treatment of vulvar disorders
  • Vaginal, laparoscopic and robotic hysterectomy