Frequently Asked Questions

For Prospective and Current Patients

What is minimally invasive surgery?
Which conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery techniques?
Why is minimally invasive surgery safer and what are the benefits?
Are there any risk factors associated with minimally invasive surgery?
What are the success rates of minimally invasive surgery compared to traditional surgery?
Is everyone a candidate for minimally invasive surgery?
What’s important to look for when selecting a surgeon for minimally invasive surgery?
Is the cost of minimally invasive surgery covered by insurance?
Where can I get more information on minimally invasive procedures?

What is minimally invasive surgery?
Gynecologic surgery, including removal of reproductive organs, such as the uterus and/or ovaries, has traditionally been performed through a long incision in the abdominal wall. Minimally invasive surgery offers an alternative to conventional surgery. Minimally invasive techniques used in gynecologic surgery include laparoscopic, robotic-assisted and vaginal surgery.

Depending on the type of procedure, you may receive either general or local anesthesia.

Which conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery techniques?
From the simple to the most complex conditions, we can handle a variety of female health concerns. In regards to the field of gynecology, minimally invasive surgery is a viable treatment option for:

  • Ovarian cysts
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Pelvic prolapse
  • Infertility
  • Hysterectomy
  • Incontinence
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Gynecological cancer
  • Family planning/permanent birth control

Why is minimally invasive surgery safer and what are the benefits?
Depending on the type of procedure, you may be eligible to receive local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia. Most traditional surgeries require a long incision that usually has to be made through muscle, leaving large scars and requiring extensive recovery time. The smaller incisions from minimally invasive surgery often permit the surgeon to complete the procedure without cutting through muscle, allowing for:

  • Less blood loss
  • Quicker recovery and faster healing
  • Less tissue damage to skin, muscle and other tissues surrounding the affected organ
  • Less post-operative pain and discomfort meaning less need for pain medication
  • A shorter hospital stay and quicker return to normal activities
  • Smaller, less noticeable scars are usually four to five "keyhole" incisions 5 to 12mm long
  • With vaginal surgery there are usually no visible scars

And, because minimally invasive surgery uses video-assisted equipment, your surgeon has better visualization and magnification of the internal organs and structure. This allows for a more accurate procedure, which is especially critical when working around delicate and confined structures like the bladder.

Are there any risk factors associated with minimally invasive surgery?
As with any surgery, infection, bleeding and anesthesia-related problems are possible complications. However, because of the smaller incisions needed, the risk of infection and excessive blood loss is lower than with traditional open surgery. You should talk with your doctor about possible complications specific to your surgery.

What are the success rates of minimally invasive surgery compared to traditional surgery?
Surgical success rates with minimally invasive surgery are comparable to traditional surgery.

Is everyone a candidate for minimally invasive surgery?
There are many factors that determine if you’re eligible for a minimally invasive procedure, those include, but are not limited to:

  • The area of the pelvic region that is being treated with surgery
  • The medical parameters of a specific case
  • The size of the patient—some larger women may not be candidates for minimally invasive surgery

You should be aware that if a surgery starts as a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon might choose to convert to traditional surgery during the procedure if necessary.

What’s important to look for when selecting a surgeon for minimally invasive surgery?
Experience is the key. Studies show that the more minimally invasive procedures a surgeon performs, the higher the chance of better outcomes. It’s important to ask your surgeon how many times he or she has performed your specific procedure.

Is the cost of minimally invasive surgery covered by insurance?
Minimally invasive surgery is covered by most insurance plans. Please contact your insurance company with specific questions regarding your medical plans.

Where can I get more information on minimally invasive procedures?
At Aurora Health Care, our Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Program features the vast experience of leading surgeons who are dedicated to presenting all options to their patients. After your procedure, we also offer a multidisciplinary approach to maintaining your health.

For a complete list of physicians who offer these procedures, please call toll-free 855-800-6447or find a surgeon.