The Connection Between Ultrasound and Minimally Invasive Gynaecological Procedures

The Connection Between Ultrasound and Minimally Invasive Gynaecological Procedures

Ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive imaging tool to observe pregnant mothers and their fetuses as pregnancy advances. Ultrasound technology relies on soundwaves, which bounce off the tissue and bones of the patient to form an image of the growing fetus and reproductive organs. Ultrasound is also used as a diagnostic tool for various other gynaecological issues. With the resulting images, doctors are able to locate abnormalities, making it easier to operate when necessary. Minimally invasive gynaecological procedures such as laparoscopy are more straightforward, with a clear ultrasound picture of the organs.

The Use of Ultrasound in Gynaecology

Since the late 50s, ultrasound has been used to observe a mothers’ health and the development of her fetus. Ultrasound imaging technology allows doctors to rule out ectopic pregnancies, determine the gender and estimate the due date, observe the placenta and amniotic fluid for abnormalities, and more. Outside of pregnancy, ultrasound can be used to look for ovarian cysts, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. During pregnancy, doctors will conduct abdominal ultrasounds by dragging the ultrasound transducer over the abdominal area. When looking for other gynaecological issues, they usually perform a transvaginal ultrasound by inserting a smaller wand-like transducer into the vagina.

What Is a Minimally Invasive Gynaecological Procedure?

Minimally invasive surgery involves making small incisions in the skin, which are less than an inch long, using specialised tools which are inserted into the incisions. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery are a shorter recovery time, less time in the hospital, less pain during recovery, reduced blood loss, and a lower incidence of complications.

Types of minimally invasive gynaecological procedures:

Laparoscopy – can be used for diagnostic and operative purposes. A small incision is made in or near the belly button.

Minilaparoscopy – an alternative to traditional laparoscopy, a minilaparoscopy requires a smaller incision of 5 mm or less to insert instruments.

Robotic surgery – similar to laparoscopy, during robotic surgery, a surgeon controls a robotic arm with a camera or a surgical instrument. The camera produces high-definition 3D images.

Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery – the newest type of minimally invasive surgery, is performed through an orifice such as the stomach, bladder, vagina, or rectum, with transabdominal assistance.

How Ultrasound and Minimally Invasive Surgery Are Connected

The use of ultrasound during surgery is also known as intraoperative ultrasonography. This video-assisted surgical technique employs high-frequency sonographic probes, which are passed through minimally invasive incisions to assist the surgeon during the procedure. While the ultrasound produces an image of the internal organs, the surgeon can better find and remove gynaecological abnormalities such as cysts and endometriosis. By combining minimally invasive surgical techniques with ultrasound, the doctor can gather more information than they would by merely inserting cameras into the incision. Ultrasound penetrates the tissue to produce images showing masses that may not otherwise be visible with a surgical camera.

Using ultrasound to perform minimally invasive gynaecological procedures offers numerous benefits to patients and surgeons. It ensures the surgeon has improved visualisation and accuracy, resulting in better patient outcomes. If you or someone you know needs gynaecological assistance, contact a clinic with a team of experienced gynaecologists who can perform such procedures.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.