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What Is Gynecologic Surgery?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Gynecologic surgery defines various operations performed on a woman’s reproductive organs, which include the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. These surgeries might correct a number of diseases or abnormalities, prevent pregnancy, or terminate a pregnancy. Doctors who specialize in the female reproductive system perform gynecologic surgery under general or local anesthetic.

Myomectomy refers to surgery of the uterus to remove fibroids growing inside or outside the uterine wall. Fibroid tumors are typically benign and commonly appear in women during their 30s and 40s. These tissue masses might appear very small or grow quickly into large tumors that cause pain and other internal problems. It is not known what causes fibroids, but they may be linked to estrogen production.

A cesarean gynecologic surgery delivers a child through the abdomen in women who cannot give birth vaginally. The gynecologist makes an incision in the stomach to remove the fetus from the uterus. Cervical cerclage represents another type of surgery related to childbirth. During this procedure, the cervix is stitched closed during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage or premature birth. When the uterus is removed, it is called a hysterectomy. This is done to treat various disorders, including cancer.

Ovarian disorders that might require gynecologic surgery include removal of one or both ovaries that develop cysts or cancer. Some surgical procedures remove part of the ovary, typically performed in women who want to have children. Ovaries store eggs until they are released into the fallopian tube for fertilization.

One of the most common gynecologic surgery techniques is an episiotomy. This procedure enlarges the vaginal opening via an incision between the vagina and anus to prevent tissue from tearing during childbirth. Surgery might also be needed to repair damage to the vaginal wall after childbirth.

When disorders of the fallopian tubes appear, they can be addressed through gynecologic surgeries. The fallopian tubes carry fertilized and unfertilized eggs to the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg fails to descend and begins growing in the fallopian tube. The tube is typically cut to remove the growth. One or both fallopian tubes might be removed if a rupture occurs from complications of ectopic pregnancy.

Tubal ligation prevents pregnancy by cutting or blocking the fallopian tube from transporting eggs. Abortion is a form of gynecologic surgery that terminates a pregnancy. A suction device might be used in early stages of pregnancy, when the embryo is small. Dilatation and curettage mean scraping the lining of the uterus to remove the embryo.

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