What are In-office Gynecologic Procedures?
Gynecologic procedures are medical techniques used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions affecting the female reproductive system. These procedures are performed by a qualified physician called a gynecologist.
In-office gynecologic procedures are those performed directly in your physician’s clinic.
Most gynecologic procedures traditionally have been performed in a surgical setting at hospitals using general anesthesia. Thanks to new technologies and techniques, these procedures are now being done in the physician’s office, often without the need for anesthesia.
Scope of In-office Gynecologic Procedures
In-office gynecologic procedures mostly deal with the routine physical care and health of a woman’s reproductive organs such as the uterus (womb), cervix, ovaries, bladder, urethra, fallopian tubes and vagina, during the different stages of life.
Requisites to Perform In-office Gynecologic Procedures
A typical examination room in your physician’s clinic with the necessary equipment is adequate to perform many gynecologic procedures. Additionally, the physician needs to have trained supporting staff to prepare the patients for procedures, which are mostly done while the patient is awake.
In-office Gynecologic Procedures
Gynecologic procedures carried out in an in-office setting include, but are not limited to, the following:
Colposcopy is performed using a special instrument called a colposcope which:
- Closely examines the cervix, vagina and the vulva for signs of diseases.
- Checks for abnormal PAP smears (abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix - the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina).
- Evaluates inflammation, pain or genital warts on the cervix.
- Looks for benign (non-cancerous) growths along the cervix.
Colposcopy is also used to treat genital warts and polyps (noncancerous growths) among others.
This is done to treat a condition known as cervical dysplasia (abnormal cells or tissues on the surface of the cervix). Cervical cryotherapy:
- destroys the abnormal cells, which otherwise may lead to cervical cancer.
- will not be performed if you are menstruating or if you are pregnant.
LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)
- Treats pre-cancerous conditions like cervical dysplasia on the cervix
- Removes abnormal cells from the cervix and prevents cervical cancer
- Checks for any abnormal cells or signs of cancer on the lining of the uterus.
- Helps find the cause of:
- Abnormal periods or bleeding (heavy, prolonged, or irregular)
- Bleeding after menopause
- Overgrowth of the lining (endometrial hyperplasia)
- Controlled surgical destruction of the endometrium, a thin layer of tissue that lines the uterus
- Stops or reduces heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Done on women who do not plan to have children
Hysteroscopy or Sonohysterogram
This is performed using a light, telescope-like device called a hysteroscope if you experience heavy, prolonged, or irregular menstruation or bleeding after menopause. The procedure helps to:
- Examine the cervix and the lining of the uterus (assess normal thickness)
- Evaluate abnormal uterine bleeding
- Diagnose or treat uterine problems
- Identify the cause of repeated miscarriage
- Determine difficulty getting or staying pregnant
However, it cannot be performed during menstruation or pregnancy.
This procedure is used to examine abnormal vaginal bleeding in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Cystometrogram (CMG) / cystoscopy
A cystoscopy is performed to evaluate urinary incontinence (unintended leakage of urine from the urethra) or other bladder problems in women.
Benefits of In-office Gynecologic Procedures
- Convenient (no hospital trip)
- Minimal discomfort
- Greater privacy
- Better efficiency
- Less time
- Low cost