As women age their need for healthcare changes, especially their need for gynecologic care. Routine annual visits to your gynecologist are very important for your health, annual visits provide an opportunity for your physician to counsel you on a healthy lifestyle and minimize your health risks. In addition, many serious medical conditions are first suspected or discovered during these routine exams.
Some women experience chronic pelvic pain and/or abnormal vaginal bleeding. There are numerous conditions that could cause these symptoms including, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Endometriosis: cells that normally line the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) grow in appropriately outside on organs such as the ovaries, bladder or rectum.
Uterine Fibroids: Fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow in, and on, the wall of the uterus. Not all women who have them notice symptoms, but for some, fibroids can be painful.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: this is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries that causes them to become inflamed and infected. Most often it is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.
In some cases your condition may be able to be treated medically, however some conditions may require surgery. Gynecological surgery refers to surgery on the female reproductive system. Gynecological surgery is usually performed by gynecologists. It includes procedures for benign conditions, cancer, infertility, and incontinence. Some surgical procedures performed at Sacred Heart Hospital are hysterectomy, hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation, D&C, and LEEPs.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. It may also involve removal of the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and other surrounding structures. A hysterectomy may be total (removing the body, fundus, and cervix of the uterus; often called "complete") or partial (removal of the uterine body while leaving the cervix intact; also called "supracervical"). It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure.
Hysteroscopy is the inspection of the uterine cavity by endoscopy with access through the cervix. It allows for the diagnosis of intrauterine pathology and serves as a method for surgical intervention (operative hysteroscopy).
Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure that is used to remove (ablate) or destroy the endometrial lining of a uterus. This technique is most often employed for people who suffer from excessive or prolonged bleeding during their menstrual cycle but cannot or do not wish to undergo a hysterectomy. The procedure is most commonly done on an outpatient basis.
The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is one of the most commonly used approaches to treat high grade cervical dysplasia. The procedure has many advantages including low cost, high success rate, and ease of use. The procedure can be done in an office setting and usually only requires a local anesthetic, though sometimes IV sedation or a general anesthetic is used.
Dilation (or dilatation) and curettage (D&C) refers to the dilation (widening/opening) of the cervix and surgical removal of part of the lining of the uterus and/or contents of the uterus by scraping and scooping (curettage). It is a therapeutic gynecological procedure.Sacred Heart Hospital offers comprehensive care for women’s health. If you are having gynecologic problems or have been told you need gynecologic surgery, contact one of our gynecologists for an appointment today.