The Section of Benign Gynecologic Surgery at the MedStar Georgetown Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) offers expert surgical care for all non-cancerous gynecological conditions.
Gynecologic conditions can often be treated non-surgically. When surgery is the best option, however, our expert team of board-certified gynecologic surgeons are here to help you get well—safely and comfortably. Whenever possible, we use minimally-invasive, laparoscopic, vaginal, and robot-assisted approaches. These techniques offer better outcomes, faster healing, less scarring, and lower risks of complications.
We can help patients overcome a wide range of gynecological health challenges, including: infertility, endometriosis, fibroids, abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine polyps, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and bladder disorders. Patients with gynecological cancers are treated through the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute.
Our Ob/Gyn providers work closely with other departments throughout MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, including the department of Bloodless Medicine and Surgery for patients who cannot or prefer not to receive blood transfusions during surgery. With a wide variety of capabilities all available at one location, you can seamlessly access all of the care you need.
Our Surgical Capabilities Include:
- Office diagnostic hysteroscopy
- Cancer risk reductive surgery
- Ovarian surgery
- Vulvar procedures
- Cervical surgery
An Office Diagnostic Hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose problems in a woman’s uterus. To complete the procedure, a thin tube (scope) equipped with lights and a camera is inserted through the vagina. The Ob/Gyn then guides the scope’s movement using a video screen.
Hysteroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure that can be completed right in the doctor’s office. Since the approach does not require any incisions, there is no healing time required after the procedure and patients can return home right away.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus. This procedure can be used to treat several types of gynecological conditions—including cancer, non-cancerous tumors, fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, abnormal bleeding, and chronic pain. The Section of Benign Gynecologic Surgery offers laparoscopic, vaginal, and robot-assisted approaches for this procedure, as well as traditional open/abdominal approaches when necessary.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: To perform a hysterectomy laparoscopically, the surgeon creates a very small incision near the patient’s belly button. After inserting a thin tube (scope) equipped with tiny surgical tools, lights, and a camera, the surgeon uses a video screen to guide the procedure.
- Robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy: This type of hysterectomy is similar to the laparoscopic approach described above. It begins with a small abdominal incision and the insertion of a scope. The surgeon uses a computer to manipulate the surgical instruments, a technique that can allow for more precise movement in small spaces.
- Vaginal hysterectomy: This approach is performed completely through the vagina, without any abdominal incisions.
Fibroids are a very common type of benign (non-cancerous) tumor that can develop in the uterus. Although many women experience no symptoms, fibroids may cause menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, fertility problems, or pain. In these cases, a myomectomy procedure to remove fibroids may be helpful.
Unlike a hysterectomy, a myomectomy allows a woman to keep her uterus—only the fibroids are removed. This makes it a good option for women who may want to have a baby in the future.
We offer several minimally-invasive types of myomectomy:
- Laparoscopic myomectomy: To perform this procedure, the surgeon creates a very small incision near the patient’s belly button. After inserting a thin tube (scope) equipped with tiny surgical tools, lights, and a camera, the surgeon uses a video screen to guide the operation.
- Robot-assisted laparoscopic myomectomy: This approach is similar to the laparoscopic procedure described above, beginning with a small abdominal incision and the insertion of a scope. However, the surgeon uses a computer to manipulate the surgical instruments. This can allow for more precise movement in small spaces.
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy: During a hysteroscopic myomectomy, the surgeon inserts the scope through the vagina. This is an option for fibroids located in certain areas of the uterus.
Genetics can put women at higher risk for certain types of cancer. For instance, women who have a gene mutation called BRCA are at increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
Risk-reducing surgery can help prevent cancer from developing. Several types of surgery fall into this category of procedures, including removal of the ovaries (prophylactic oophorectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy).
For many women, these procedures offer great peace of mind. For others, a different treatment approach is the right fit. Your clinician will help you make the decision that is right for you.
Gynecological conditions can have an effect on your fertility, make it more difficult to become pregnant or to have a healthy full-term pregnancy. We offer several surgical techniques to improve fertility.
- Uterine septoplasty: Women with a septate uterus have a thin wall, or membrane, that divides the inner part of the uterus into two sections. This is a common cause of fertility problems. A uterine septoplasty is a procedure to remove the membrane dividing the uterus. This procedure is performed using a minimally-invasive approach called hysteroscopy that requires no incisions.
- Treatment of endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis is common, but it can be painful and cause fertility issues. We can treat this condition in several ways, including medication or surgery to remove or treat the endometriosis.
- Adhesiolysis: Some women have scar tissue in the pelvis, a condition most commonly caused by prior surgeries. When appropriate, pelvic scar tissue can be removed—typically in a minimally-invasive fashion—through a procedure called Adhesiolysis. Adhesiolysis can be helpful to patients who are experiencing pain or fertility issues as a result of the scar tissue.
The ovaries can be affected by several kinds of benign conditions, including the growth of non-cancerous tumors or fluid-filled sacs called cysts. Our team can treat the full range of ovarian conditions. Typically, these procedures can be done using minimally-invasive approaches that allow for faster healing and fewer complications.
If you have extremely heavy or long menstrual cycles, endometrial ablation may a treatment option. This procedure removes the lining of the uterus so that menstrual flow is greatly reduced or stopped. Typically, this procedure is not done on women who want to have children because it can increase the risks of pregnancy. This procedure is typically performed using hysteroscopy, a minimally invasive approach that requires no incisions.
Polyps are a type of growth that can develop on the lining of the uterus or cervix. While polyps are usually benign (non-cancerous), they can sometimes become cancerous over time. They can also cause problems like heavy or irregular menstrual periods, bleeding between periods or after menopause, reduced fertility, or pain.
A polypectomy is a procedure used to remove polyps. This procedure can often be performed hysteroscopically. This means that the surgeon inserts a thin tube (scope) equipped with tiny surgical tools, lights, and a camera through the vagina—no incisions required. The surgeon uses a video screen to guide the procedure.