William To, MD, FACOG
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Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures

When you have a gynecological issue and more conservative treatments have failed, you may choose surgery to provide relief. However, surgical procedures involve a certain amount of risk, and recovery times can be quite long. Dr. William To, however, is a recognized leader in performing state-of-the-art gynecologic surgeries, such as robotic surgery and minimally invasive microsurgery, that are associated with less pain, decreased surgical risk, and shorter recovery times for patients. 

Our advanced gynecologic surgeries include:

da Vinci® Surgery

In the past, open surgical techniques were used to relieve symptoms of and treat gynecologic conditions such as uterine cancer, cervical cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, and menstrual period problems. Traditional open surgeries used large incisions associated with an increased risk of infection, pain, and long recovery times. 

da Vinci® surgery, a highly advanced gynecologic surgery technique, has revolutionized the surgery process for both patients and gynecologic surgeons. da Vinci surgery makes formerly major surgeries, such as hysterectomy, a minimally invasive procedure. Dr. To is an expert at da Vinci surgery and is proud to offer this state-of-the-art surgical option to his patients.

da Vinci surgery is a robotic system that allows surgeons to perform delicate surgeries, such as complex hysterectomies or myomectomies, in a least invasive manner – through tiny 1 to 2 cm incisions. Real-time 3D images guide the surgeon. The robotic system is completely controlled by the surgeon at all times. 

The da Vinci Surgery System overcomes the limitations of open surgery by providing greater control, accuracy, precision, and dexterity. For patients, the sophisticated minimally invasive surgery means minimized pain, fast recovery times, and excellent outcomes.

Myomectomy

Myomectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove uterine fibroids while preserving the uterus, allowing a woman the option of having future children. The type of myomectomy that is performed depends on such factors as the size, location, and number of uterine fibroids. Myomectomy can be performed in several ways, including with a laparotomy, da Vinci® robotic surgery, laparoscopy, or hysteroscopy.

A laparotomy involves removing a uterine fibroid through an incision in the abdomen. During laparoscopy, Dr. To inserts a viewing instrument and surgical instruments through very small incisions to remove the fibroid. Laparoscopic surgery is associated with less bleeding, decreased risk of infection, and a faster recovery time than open incision surgery. 

In some cases, uterine fibroids extend through to the inside the uterine cavity and need to be treated with hysteroscopic surgery. During a hysteroscopy, a viewing device and surgical instruments are inserted through the vagina and cervix and through to the inside of the uterus. The fibroids are destroyed with a laser or electrical current. Fibroids that are located extremely deep in the uterine wall may not be able to be removed, but they can be treated to help manage symptoms.

Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that may be used to identify abnormalities and diagnose disease. During the procedure, Dr. To inserts a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end (laparoscope) into the abdomen to view the pelvic organs. Only a small incision is required.  

During laparoscopy, Dr. To can also perform surgery to treat endometriosis, remove uterine fibroids, remove ovarian cysts, perform a hysterectomy, remove an ectopic pregnancy in the fallopian tube, perform permanent sterilization by blocking the fallopian tubes, and treat uterine prolapse.

The recovery time for laparoscopic surgery is minimal. For minor procedures, you may be able to return to your normal activities within 1-2 days following surgery. For more complex procedures, it can take longer.

Visit our patient education library to learn more about laparoscopy

Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that may be used to diagnose and treat uterine conditions. It is most commonly used to find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. During the procedure, Dr. To inserts a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end (hysteroscope) through your vagina and cervix into your uterus.

With the hysteroscope, Dr. To can view the inside of the uterus to find the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding, such as uterine fibroids or polyps. If he finds any fibroids or polyps, Dr. To can remove them with an instrument inserted through the hysteroscope. He can also take a tissue sample for a biopsy, remove growths, or perform endometrial ablation using the Gynecare Thermachoice® method.

Because there are no incisions involved in the procedure, you can usually return to your normal activities the next day.

Hysterectomy

Common gynecologic conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, cancer, or pelvic prolapse can cause chronic pain and heavy bleeding. For women who experience these symptoms and for whom conservative treatment has failed, a hysterectomy – the surgical removal of the uterus – may be indicated.  If performed as open surgery, this procedure can be painful, require a lengthy recovery (often up to 6 weeks), and leave a significant scar from the incision.

When performed with the da Vinci® Surgical System, however, hysterectomy is minimally invasive, requiring only a few tiny incisions (microsurgery) that will result in minimal scarring. Other potential benefits of the da Vinci hysterectomy over traditional surgical approaches include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss and need for transfusion
  • Less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
  • Better outcomes and patient satisfaction, in many cases

Ask Dr. To if you might be a candidate for da Vinci hysterectomy. Visit our patient education library to learn more about hysterectomy.

Gynecare Thermachoice®

For an effective, non-hormonal treatment for heavy periods, ask Dr. To about Gynecare Thermachoice®. Dr. To can perform this minimally invasive procedure in less than 10 minutes, and you can resume your normal activities the next day.

Thermachoice uses a method called endometrial ablation to remove the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. During the procedure, Dr. To uses a catheter to insert a small soft, flexible balloon through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. The balloon is then filled with fluid, which is gently heated and circulated in the uterus for 8 minutes while the lining of the uterus is treated.

When the treatment is completed, all the fluid is withdrawn from the balloon, and the catheter is removed. The treated uterine lining will shed, like during a period, over the next 7-10 days.

Thermachoice involves no incisions, and Dr. To performs the procedure under local anesthesia. Best of all, its effects are long-lasting. Five years after treatment, 95% of women reported having normal to no periods. And over 75% of women surveyed were free from significant menstrual pain and cramping.

If you have completed your family, ask Dr. To if Gynecare Thermachoice® is an appropriate option for you. Visit our patient education library to learn more about treatments for excessive menstrual bleeding.

To schedule an appointment with Beverly Hills gynecologic surgeon Dr. William To, call (310) 659-9625 or request an appointment online. Our office is conveniently located within the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.