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Have you ever been in a scenario where, when you go to a gynecologist, you are told to undergo a procedure to further evaluate your condition? Or maybe you are simply someone who likes to stay informed. Well, no matter what your reason is, it is always important to learn a little about the common gynecological surgeries and procedures because if you ever come face to face with such a situation, you will be very well prepared. What are the common procedures? Take a look.
Cervical Cryosurgery Sometimes, abnormal cells take residence in your cervix, which generally heals on its own. But when that doesn’t happen, and your doctor feels like there is a threat to your health, he or she might suggest that you opt for cervical cryosurgery or even cryotherapy. In this procedure, freezing gas or liquid nitrogen is used to destroy any precancerous cells on the cervix (the lowest section of your womb). Cryosurgery is a short procedure, which is generally performed in ten minutes at your doctor’s office.
Hysteroscopy If you are suffering from abnormal bleeding, there are chances that your doctor might suggest hysteroscopy to diagnose and treat this condition. A hysteroscope is used to perform this treatment, which is basically a thin lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine any uterine problems. These include;
• Understanding the reason for repeated miscarriages • Locating an intrauterine device • Removing adhesions • Used to remove any non-cancerous growth in the uterus • It helps determine if one is suffering from the uterine septum
Generally, hysteroscopy is scheduled during the first week after your monthly periods as, during this time, the view inside the uterus will be clear, helping the doctor determine the issue.
Colposcopy Colposcopy is performed using a special instrument known as the colposcope to examine the cervix, vagina, or vulva if the pap smear results come back abnormal. It usually lets your doctor check for;
• Cervix inflammation • Warts • Precancerous activity in vulva, vagina or cervix
It is usually a very safe procedure and only rarely do women experience any side effects, which might include heavy bleeding, infection, or pelvic pain.
LEEP Procedure LEEP or loop electrosurgical excision procedure is conducted when the results from PAP smear indicate abnormal cells just on the surface of the cervix. To perform the treatment, a charged thin wire is used to remove any abnormal tissue. Once it is done, the cervix is medically burned to stop any further bleeding. Although it takes only 10 minutes to perform it, the healing can take up to six weeks. But that being said, you will just have to rest for one day and can go back to school or work after that. Some of the side-effects of this treatment include;
• Fever • Chills • Blood clots • Heavy flow • Pain
It is strictly advised that if anyone experiences these problems, they must visit a healthcare practitioner immediately.
Pelvic Laparoscopy Pelvic Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure done to examine your pelvic organs using a laparoscope. It is conducted under anesthesia. Once you fall asleep in the operation theatre, the doctor will make a half-inch surgical incision below the belly button and carbon dioxide will be pumped inside to ensure clear viewing of the organs.
During this procedure, the doctor will be able to; • Get tissue samples for biopsy • Examine any symptoms • Removal of any abnormal tissue • Correct or remove ovaries or uterine tubes • To perform appendectomy • To remove lymph nodes
Dilation and Curettage (D&C) Also known as D&C, Dilation and Curettage is a surgical procedure where the lower part of the uterus is expanded to remove the uterine lining due to abnormal tissues. This is generally performed to treat a condition known as endometriosis. Other treatments used for this ailment include hysteroscopy, hysterectomy, and endometrial ablation.
So, these were some of the very common gynecological procedures. If you are worried or concerned about the procedures recommended by your gynecologist, remember, it is natural. But to deal with the anxiety, all you need to do is inform yourself and talk to your doctor freely to put your mind at ease.
Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology MBBS, MD
Rainbow Children’s Hospital & BirthRigh, Banjara Hills.