Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) at the University of Colorado

About our OB/GYN Surgeons

The University of Colorado’s OB/GYN group is a multi-disciplinary team of physicians that utilizes innovative technology to provide relief for women with common gynecologic conditions.

Our board-certified gynecological surgeons are trained in a range of minimally invasive surgical techniques including routine laparoscopy and more complex pelvic surgeries. With advances in technology and training, many surgeries can now be performed using small incisions requiring only a few stitches.

Why choose minimally invasive gynecologic surgery?

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery uses small tools inserted through the small incisions. A miniature camera with microscope and tiny fiber optic lights provides images on a high definition monitor, allowing a surgeon to make smaller incisions. This leaves smaller scars, reduces the chance of infection or clotting, lessens post-surgery pain, and decreases recovery time compared with traditional surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures are an alternative to traditional (open) surgery, which usually involves a large incision through the abdomen to reach a patient’s internal organs. It also requires a hospital stay. Minimally invasive surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient returns home the same day, instead of staying several days at the hospital to recover.

These surgeries are often used to treat such conditions as ovarian cysts and tumors, endometriosis, uterine fibroidspelvic pain, and heavy bleeding, among others. A gynecologic surgeon will discuss available treatment options with the patient and determine the best plan for her individual needs.

Complex minimally invasive surgery

When considering treatment options, CU OB/GYN offers patients the option of advanced laparoscopic, robotic and hysteroscopic surgery, as well as more advanced abdominal and vaginal surgery.

As a group, we perform some of the highest number of minimally invasive surgeries for women’s health conditions and have the greatest experience in such surgeries in the Rocky Mountain region. This makes us especially prepared to tackle complex cases where patients have had prior surgeries, a high body-mass index (BMI) or require more complicated surgery.

While most surgeons have performed some minimally invasive techniques, these cases often require an extra level of expertise, skill and experience, as better outcomes generally come from more experience. Even relatively straightforward surgeries like a hysterectomy can sometimes cause serious complications, so it is important to be in good surgical hands.

Choosing the right surgeon—and hospital staff—can be especially important for operations that are new, unusually complex or that are being done to treat a potentially fatal disease like ovarian cancer.

Advantages of minimally invasive surgery


  Faster recovery time


  Smaller incisions


  Shorter hospital stays (if any)

 


  Lower risk of infection


  Less blood loss and reduced need for blood transfusion


  Decreased pain & use of medications

 

Types of minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive procedures are an alternative option to open surgery. The surgeon uses small scope devices and tools to view and operate internally on the pelvis, abdomen, uterus and other organs. Common types of MIS surgery:

Laparoscopy

An instrument called a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision to allow the surgeon to view the abdomen and its organs.

In order to insert the tools, the surgeon makes a quarter- to a half-inch incision under the belly button and up to three more similarly sized incisions at the belly’s hairline.

Hysteroscopy

An instrument called a hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus to give the doctor a view inside of the uterus.

Because a hysteroscopy is performed through natural body openings (the vagina and cervix), it does not require any incisions, and so does not leave any visible scars.

Surgery risks

Minimally invasive surgery is not always the best solution for all conditions – open surgery will sometimes be the more effective option. Additionally, patients who are obese or who have had previous open surgery in the abdomen are not considered good candidates for minimally invasive procedures.

Whether or not minimally invasive surgery is available depends on the doctor’s experience and the facility having the correct equipment.

Robotic surgery may be performed for minimally invasive or open surgery. However, the availability of the robotic computer system and tools at the hospital or facility, as well as the doctor’s ability to operate the computerized controls, will determine if robotic-assisted surgery can be performed.