What to expect on the day of your minimally invasive procedure, how long the MIS procedure will take, and your recovery period will vary depending upon the type of surgery you need.
In general, patients who undergo traditional (open) abdominal GYN surgery, with larger incisions, may need to stay in the hospital for several days and curtail some of their normal activities, such as taking a bath or resuming sexual activity, for six to eight weeks.
In comparison, minimally invasive surgery may involve only one or two overnight stays - or no overnight stay - in the hospital. Often patients are able to return home on the same day of the procedure. Depending on the laparoscopic surgery performed, many patients return to work, and their normal activities, within several days or within one to two weeks (for cases such as hysterectomy).
Laparoscopic surgery is performed through the abdomen or pelvis. A laparoscope is a narrow instrument attached to a camera. It can be inserted into the pelvis through 5mm or 1cm incisions to assess gynecologic conditions such as ovarian cysts and torsion (when the ovary twists or turns on its pelvic attachment, cutting off its blood supply). Laparoscopy is usually performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia.
Hysteroscopy is a technique that surgeons use to inspect the inside of the womb (uterus). It can help diagnose and treat conditions within the uterine cavity such as endometrial polyps, certain fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, and uterine septums (an abnormal band of tissue in the middle of the uterus).
Similar to a laparoscope, a hysteroscope is also attached to a camera and light source but is inserted vaginally through the cervix into the uterus, rather than into the abdomen or pelvis. Therefore, hysteroscopic surgery does not require any incisions. Most diagnostic hysteroscopies and some operative hysteroscopic procedures (such as office hysteroscopic sterilizations) can be done in a physician's office. More complex hysteroscopic procedures are done in an operating room within a hospital setting. Your gynecologist can advise you on the appropriate setting for your hysteroscopic procedure.