We offer the longest experience and largest volume in the state in advanced operative laparoscopic gynecologic surgery for painful conditions such as endometriosis. We have the best safety record and the largest experience with more difficult cases.
Operating through small incisions reduces the discomfort that a person has after surgery. This most often means that the person can go home the day of surgery or the next morning. She may resume normal daily activities earlier, although some restrictions on strenuous exertion may apply for the first few weeks after surgery in some cases.
Performing surgery laparoscopically also reduces the chance of forming internal scar tissue (adhesions) after surgery. In some people, these adhesions can cause pain, and in 1-3% of people, may lead to intestinal obstruction at some point in their lives. Fewer adhesions are formed after laparoscopic surgery because no sponges or retractors are needed, and the internal tissues are not dried by exposure to room air. From the perspective of the surgeon, many types of surgery are actually easier to do laparoscopically because the internal areas of interest are magnified and shown on a large TV screen.
Many gynecologists perform laparoscopic surgery, and some have developed experience with some of the procedures listed below. What makes our division unique is the length and breadth of experience we have in doing very difficult surgeries. It is our position that, in experienced hands, as much as 80% of surgeries done for gynecologic disease can be performed with laparoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques.
Starting in 1986, Dr. Steege was among the very first gynecologists in North Carolina to begin performing many common gynecologic surgeries through the laparoscope. In the thousands of surgeries performed in this manner by the physicians listed above, UNC's record for safety and effectiveness has been unmatched.
When a physician refers a patient for laparoscopic surgery at UNC, we routinely invite him or her to come to Chapel Hill to participate in the surgery if desired and if this is acceptable to the patient. We feel this is a good way of sharing the experience we have obtained in the course of years of doing this type of surgery, as well as an excellent way of maintaining continuity in a person's medical care.