6 Common Gynecology Surgeries and Procedures

Have you been told by your healthcare provider or gynecologist that you need a procedure to further evaluate a gynecological problem? You're not alone. Millions of people each year have a gynecological procedure or gynecological surgery.

This article describes the most common gynecological procedures and why they are done.

With all gynecological procedures, tell your healthcare provider if you are or could be pregnant.

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Cervical Cryosurgery

Abnormal cells in your cervix may heal without treatment. If there is any concern that they will not, your healthcare professional might recommend cervical cryosurgery, or cryotherapy, which is a highly effective gynecological treatment that freezes a section of the cervix.

The purpose of this procedure is to destroy any abnormal cervical cells that show changes which may lead to cancer, called precancerous cells. Your gynecologist may use the term cervical dysplasia to describe your condition.

Colposcopy

A colposcopy is a non-surgical diagnostic tool performed with a colposcope. It's used to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva when a person has an abnormal Pap smear.

If your healthcare provider or gynecologist finds an area that appears concerning during this procedure, they may take a sample and send it to the laboratory for testing.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

Dilation and curettage (D&C), is one of the most common gynecological procedures. During this procedure, the healthcare provider removes a portion of your uterine lining with suction device or a sharp curette (surgical instrument).

The procedure is a way to diagnose uterine conditions including uterine cancer or uterine polyps and the precancerous condition endometrial hyperplasia with atypia or atypical endometrial hyperplasia.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend it to remove a molar pregnancy or a placenta that remains in the uterus after a delivery that has caused excessive bleeding.

Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that your healthcare provider or gynecologist may use to diagnose or treat uterine problems. These include removing adhesions, locating an intrauterine device, or determining the cause of repeated miscarriage.

During this procedure, a healthcare professional uses a hysteroscope, which is a thin, lighted, telescope-like instrument that is inserted into your uterus through the vagina. It sends pictures of your uterus to a screen for further examination.

LEEP Procedure

A healthcare provider or gynecologist may use the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) when a PAP smear indicates there are abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix. During the procedure, the provider uses an electrically-charged, thin wire loop to cut away the abnormal tissue.

Pelvic Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure usually performed under general anesthesia. However, it can be performed with other types of anesthesia while you are awake.

The typical pelvic laparoscopy involves a small (1/2- to 3/4-inch) incision in the belly button or lower abdomen. Carbon dioxide is then pumped into your abdomen to help the surgeon see your organs more easily. Depending on your condition, the surgeon may also take tissue samples, remove scar tissue, repair your uterus, or remove your ovaries.

A Word From Verywell

It is understandable that you may have concerns about any procedure your healthcare provider or gynecologist recommends. Learning as much as you can is a good idea, and it's also important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider. Ask your doctor any questions you may have and don't forget to tell them if you may be pregnant, although they usually do a test to check first.

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9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Cancer Institute. Understanding cervical changes: next steps after an abnormal screening test.

  2. Wright JD. Patient education: management of a cervical biopsy with precancerous cells (Beyond the Basics).

  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Colposcopy.

  4. Braaten KP, Dutton C. Dilation and curettage.

  5. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Endometrial hyperplasia.

  6. Cleveland Clinic. Molar pregnancy: management and treatment.

  7. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Hysteroscopy.

  8. Cleveland Clinic. Hysteroscopy: procedure details.

  9. MedlinePlus. Pelvic laparoscopy.

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