How to Prepare for Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery

OB-GYN doctors keep women healthy by performing checkups and procedures to ensure the proper function of their reproductive systems. When abnormalities are found in the cervix, vagina, uterus, or ovaries, surgery is sometimes required to treat the underlying cause. Fortunately, many gynecological procedures can be performed using minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery can sometimes be performed through the vaginal opening and cervix, eliminating the need for incisions. In other cases, a small incision can be made in the abdomen so surgeries can be performed laparoscopically. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for your minimally invasive gynecological surgery:

1. Find out if you need a ride home after your procedure. 

Whenever possible, surgeons perform procedures using local anesthesia. This allows patients to recover as quickly as possible and reduces the risks associated with general anesthesia. Before the day of your minimally invasive surgery, you can ask your doctor whether or not you will be asleep during your procedure. People who plan to undergo surgery using general anesthesia will not be able to drive after their appointments.

2. Remove your nail polish.

Before your minimally invasive procedure, you should remove your nail polish. While this may initially seem like a strange request, it's actually a safety precaution. During your surgical procedure, a pulse oximeter will be placed on your finger to measure the oxygen levels in your blood throughout your surgery. Nail polish, gel manicures, and acrylic nails can interfere with the machine's readings, inhibiting your care team's ability to keep you safe. 

3. Leave your jewelry at home.

On the day of your procedure, you can ensure that everything goes smoothly and avoid lost valuables by leaving your jewelry at home. Necklaces, anklets, and wedding rings should all be removed prior to surgery. If you wear earrings, navel rings, or any other type of body piercing, you should also remove these before your operation. In rare cases, the cauterizing equipment used during minimally invasive surgery may cause electricity to exit the body through any piercings that are still in place. This can result in painful, disfiguring burns, which is why surgeons instruct their patients to remove all jewelry.

4. Prepare everything you need for your recovery.

Minimally invasive surgery allows women to get back on their feet as soon as possible, with minimal pain and scarring. However, you may still want to take it easy in the days after your procedure. You can facilitate this by preparing everything you need ahead of time, including meals, hydrating beverages, and medication.