Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically destroys (ablates) the lining of your uterus (endometrium). The goal of endometrial ablation is to reduce menstrual flow. In some women, menstrual flow may stop completely.
No incisions are needed for endometrial ablation. Your doctor inserts slender tools through the passageway between your vagina and uterus (cervix).
The tools vary, depending on the method used to ablate the endometrium. They might include extreme cold, heated fluids, microwave energy or high-energy radiofrequencies.
Some types of endometrial ablation can be done in your doctor’s office. Others must be performed in an operating room. Factors such as the size and condition of your uterus will help determine which endometrial ablation method is most appropriate.
An abdominal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes your uterus through an incision in your lower abdomen. Your uterus — or womb — is where a baby grows if you’re pregnant. A partial hysterectomy removes just the uterus, leaving the cervix intact. A total hysterectomy removes the uterus and the cervix.
Sometimes a hysterectomy includes removal of one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes, a procedure called a total hysterectomy with salpingo-oophorectomy (sal-ping-go-o-of-uh-REK-tuh-me).
A hysterectomy can also be performed through an incision in the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or by a laparoscopic or robotic surgical approach — which uses long, thin instruments passed through small abdominal incisions.
An abdominal hysterectomy may be recommended over other types of hysterectomy if:
You have a large uterus.
Your doctor wants to check other pelvic organs for signs of disease.
Your surgeon feels it’s in your best interest to have an abdominal hysterectomy.
Tubal ligation — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy.
Tubal ligation prevents an egg from traveling from the ovaries through the fallopian tubes and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. The procedure doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle.
Tubal ligation can be done at any time, including after childbirth or in combination with another abdominal surgery, such as a C-section. Most tubal ligation procedures cannot be reversed. If reversal is attempted, it requires major surgery and isn’t always effective.
Treatment for endometriosis usually involves medication or surgery. The approach you and your doctor choose will depend on how severe your signs and symptoms are and whether you hope to become pregnant.
Doctors typically recommend trying conservative treatment approaches first, opting for surgery if initial treatment fails.
Myomectomy (my-o-MEK-tuh-mee) is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids — also called leiomyomas (lie-o-my-O-muhs). These common noncancerous growths appear in the uterus, usually during childbearing years, but they can occur at any age.
The surgeon’s goal during myomectomy is to take out symptom-causing fibroids and reconstruct the uterus. Unlike a hysterectomy, which removes your entire uterus, a myomectomy removes only the fibroids and leaves your uterus intact.
Women who undergo myomectomy report improvement in fibroid symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus in order to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding. Hysteroscopy is done using a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and inside of the uterus. Hysteroscopy can be either diagnostic or operative.
LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It’s a treatment that prevents cervical cancer. A small electrical wire loop is used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix. LEEP surgery may be performed after abnormal cells are found during a Pap test, colposcopy, or biopsy.
When an ovarian growth or cyst needs to be closely looked at, a surgeon can do so through a small incision using laparoscopy or through a larger abdominal incision (laparotomy). Either type of surgery can be used to diagnose problems such as ovarian cysts, adhesions, fibroids, and pelvic infection. But if there is any concern about cancer, you may have a laparotomy. It gives the best view of the abdominal organs and the female pelvic organs. Then, if the doctor finds ovarian cancer, he or she can safely remove it.
During surgery, a noncancerous cyst that is causing symptoms can be removed (cystectomy), leaving the ovary intact. In some cases, the entire ovary or both ovaries are removed, particularly when cancer is found.
If you have severe symptoms of stress urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, surgery may provide a permanent solution to your problems. But surgery isn’t for everyone. Find out what procedures may help in treating urinary incontinence.
For some women, symptoms of stress incontinence or overactive bladder don’t respond to conservative treatment. When you’ve tried conservative measures and urinary incontinence continues to disrupt your life, surgery might be an option.
Urinary incontinence surgery is more invasive and has a higher risk of complications than do many other therapies, but it can also provide a long-term solution in severe cases.
The surgical options available to you depend on the type of urinary incontinence you have. Most options for urinary incontinence surgery treat stress incontinence. However, low-risk surgical alternatives are available for other bladder problems, including overactive bladder — also called urge incontinence or urgency-frequency syndrome.