Laparoscopic Cancer Surgery at Mercy

The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic surgery) is performed through one or several small incisions (about 1/4 -1/2 an inch in length) as opposed to larger incisions used in open surgery. When minimally invasive surgery is performed with the aid of a robot, it is known as robotic surgery

Traditional minimally invasive surgery (without a robot) involves a video camera and surgical instruments that are inserted into the patient’s abdomen through several small incisions. This method allows the surgeon to remove the cancerous tissue, affected mass or compromised organ without cutting the stomach muscle. The camera transmits images to a computer screen in the Operating Room, which allows the surgeon to properly position the instruments and remove the tumor or affected organs. 

Women often seek minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery because of the advantages it offers. Laparoscopic surgery generally provides patients distinct advantages including a faster recovery, shorter hospital stay and less scarring, however, not all women are candidates for this type of surgery.

What types of gynecologic cancer can be treated with Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery?

Minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery can be used to treat gynecologic cancers including ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers. Minimally invasive surgery may be used to help diagnose a cancer or to treat the cancer by removing a mass or pelvic organs compromised by cancer. When appropriate, minimally invasive surgery may be used in conjunction with other treatments including radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

NEXT: What types of gynecologic oncology procedures can be performed with Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery? ›
What types of gynecologic oncology procedures can be performed with Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery?

Laparoscopic surgery provides an alternative to the more invasive open surgery method for some gynecologic surgical procedures. Typically patients experience less scarring, shorter hospitals stays and a more rapid return to their daily activities when laparoscopic surgery can be performed instead of open surgery. The gynecologic oncologists of The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy work individually with each patient to determine if laparoscopic surgery may be the best treatment option for them. The doctors offer the following procedures in the laparoscopic method:

  • Hysterectomy - simple (removal of uterus and cervix) and radical (removal of uterus and cervix plus removal of upper vagina)
  • Oophorectomy - removal of one or both ovaries
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy - removal of one or both ovaries and one or both fallopian tubes
  • Ovarian Cystectomy - removal of ovarian cysts
  • Lysis of Adhesions - surgery to remove scar tissue and restore normal function and reduce pain
  • Pelvic Mass Resection - surgery to remove a tumor, cyst or growth in the pelvic region
  • Myomectomy - surgery for uterine fibroids
  • Sacropolpopexy - surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse (when a woman's pelvic organs slip downward and out of normal position)
  • Lymph Node Dissection - surgery to remove and examine the lymph nodes in the pelvis to either prevent the spread of cancer or to understand the extent of the disease
NEXT: When is Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery the best treatment option? ›
When is Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery the best treatment option?

Laparoscopic surgery is one of the best alternative surgery options for women who are not candidates for robotic surgery and either do not need or choose traditional open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery is an option women - in consultation with their surgeon - may want to consider for treatment of certain cancer diagnoses. Laparoscopic surgery also is a treatment option for the patient who needs a hysterectomy, removal of fibroids or treatment for other pelvic disorders. 

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