What is Gynaecology?

Gynaecology is the care, investigation and treatment of a woman and girl’s reproductive system including the function, disorders and diseases of her ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, vulva, mammary glands and breasts. 

It can include a wide range of issues including: menstrual and menopause problems, abnormal smear test results, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, cervical polyps, endometriosis, PCOS, recurrent urinary tract infection, family planning, infertility and, screening and treatment for gynaecological cancers.

Common gynaecological operations include hysterectomy, colposcopy, prolapse surgery and hysteroscopy.

Gynaecology at Tees Valley Hospital

Here at Tess Valley Hospital we offer a comprehensive range of gynaecological procedures to personally care for a woman’s genital tract and reproductive system.

We offer fast and convenient appointments with a highly experienced and compassionate consultant gynaecologist who can diagnose and offer treatment options for women’s health conditions or, they may be able to offer you the reassurance that your symptoms are nothing to worry about.

Our gynaecologists work in close co-operation with other specialties such as urology, colorectal surgery and physiotherapy all under one roof.

As Tees Valley newest private hospital, we have state of the art facilities including first class diagnostic equipment and theatres. We use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible for surgical procedures including hysteroscopy, cystoscopy and hysterectomy.

We have developed the Ramsay Premium Care package for your peace of mind. It includes all the health benefits you require: your choice of consultant, nursing care, physiotherapy, hospital accommodation plus freshly prepared meals and, a follow up consultation with your gynaecologist. 

What is hysterectomy and what does the surgery involve? 

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s womb or uterus. 

It is a common procedure that is performed to treat gynaecological problems when other treatments have been unsuccessful. A hysterectomy may treat: heavy periods, long-term pelvic pain, fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, ovarian cancer or cancer of the womb or cervix and, postpartum haemorrhage, 
Your gynaecologist will discuss the best type and method of hysterectomy surgery for you based on why you need the operation and how much of your womb and surrounding reproductive system can safely be left in place. A hysterectomy may be:

Total - the whole of your uterus and cervix are removed.
Sub-total - your uterus is removed but your cervix is left intact. 
Hysterectomy with bi-lateral salpingo oophorectomy - in addition to your uterus, your ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed.
Radical hysterectomy – your uterus and its surrounding tissues are removed, including your fallopian tubes, part of your vagina, ovaries, lymph glands and fatty tissue.

As your uterus is removed during a hysterectomy, afterwards you will not be able to have children and you won’t have periods any more. If your ovaries are removed, you will also go through the menopause.

A hysterectomy is major surgery and is performed under general anaesthetic. There are three types of hysterectomy:

Vaginal hysterectomy – your surgeon removes your uterus through a cut in the top of your vagina.
Abdominal hysterectomy – your uterus is removed through a cut in your lower abdomen.
Laparoscopic or keyhole hysterectomy – your uterus is removed through several small cuts that allow a laparoscope and microscopic instruments to be passed through. 

What is a Colposcopy and what does the surgery involve?

Colposcopy is a simple outpatient examination that takes about 20 minutes. It uses a low power microscope mounted on a stand, called a colposcope, to look under magnification at the neck of your womb known as the cervix. 

A colposcopy is often performed if your cervical screening smear test has detected abnormal cells in your cervix, to confirm if these cells are abnormal and if you need treatment to remove them.Abnormal cells in the cervix are not harmful and often disappear on their own, but there is a risk that they could eventually turn into cervical cancer if not treated.

Colposcopy may also be used if you have cervical polyps (small growth on the cervix), unusual vaginal bleeding or other minor symptoms.

During the procedure, a speculum is inserted into your vagina to hold it open. A colposcope with a light is used to look at your cervix and special liquids are applied to your cervix to highlight any abnormal cells. Often you will be advised straight away if there are any abnormal cells in your cervix.

A small sample of tissue, called a biopsy, may be removed and sent to the laboratory for examination. If this is the case then you will be advised when your results will be available.

Your gynaecologist may recommend treatment to remove abnormal cells if there's a moderate or high chance of them becoming cancerous if they are left untreated. 

There are a number of simple treatments to remove these abnormal cells, including: large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) when a heated wire loop removes the abnormal cells and, a cone biopsy when a cone-shaped tissue with the abnormal cells is cut from your cervix.

What is prolapse surgery and what does the surgery involve? 

Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of your pelvic organs drop from their normal position and bulge into your vagina.

The pelvic organs that can be affected include: uterus, bowel, bladder or top of the vagina.

The main types of prolapse are:

An anterior prolapse – when your bladder bulges into the front wall of your vagina. 
Uterine prolapse – when your uterus bulges or hangs down into your vagina.
Vault prolapse – when the top of your vagina sags down. This may happen after surgery performed to remove your womb.
Posterior wall prolapse - when your bowel bulges forward into the back wall of your vagina.

It is possible to have more than one prolapse at the same time.

A prolapse can cause pain and discomfort. There are several treatments that can be recommended based on: the severity of your symptoms and prolapse, your age and health and, if you're planning to have children in the future.

If your gynaecologist recommends surgery, they will discuss the type of surgery to lift and support your pelvic organs. Surgical repairs are usually done by making cuts in the wall of your vagina under general anaesthetic. They may suggest stitching your pelvic organs into place or supporting your tissues to make them stronger.

What is hysteroscopy and what does the surgery involve? 

A hysteroscopy is an outpatient or day case procedure that uses an endoscope to examine your uterus. It is also known as an endoscopic uterus examination.

An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light source at one end. It is passed into your uterus through your vagina and cervix without any incisions. Your gynaecologist can then see the images of your uterus on a monitor. 

Your gynaecologist may recommend a hysteroscopy to further investigate conditions such as: pelvic pain, heavy periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, repeated miscarriages or difficulty getting pregnant. 

A hysteroscopy can diagnose fibroids and polyps. If treatment is required your gynaecologist may perform this at the same time. For example, they may remove fibroids, polyps, intrauterine devices and scar tissue that is causing period and fertility issues.

A diagnostic hysteroscopy is usually performed under local anaesthetic and general anaesthetic is used if treatment is required. 

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