In addition to our wide range of infertility, gynecology, and urogynecology services, Shoemaker Gynecology is skilled in a variety of treatment procedures that address female issues. Dr. Shoemaker pioneered minimally invasive surgery on the Eastern Shore, allowing patients to be treated with less pain and a speedier recovery. Some of the most common procedures we provide include:
Laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive alternative to traditional “open” surgery which uses smaller incisions. With this technique, the surgeon uses a long, slender device with a small camera, called a laparoscope, inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. The camera allows the surgeon to view the internal organs on a screen. Surgical repairs are then done, sometimes through a separate small incision.
Benefits of laparoscopic surgery over open surgery include smaller incisions, less pain, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery times, and a lower risk of infection. Laparoscopic surgery may be used in a variety of gynecological surgeries, including tubal ligation and hysterectomy, and to treat conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
Shoemaker Gynecology offers da Vinci robotic surgery, a minimally invasive surgical option. With the da Vinci Surgical System, the surgeon operates through just a few small incisions. The da Vinci System features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. As a result, da Vinci translates your surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments inside your body.
Endometrial ablation is an outpatient surgical procedure using a heat source to destroy the uterine lining (endometrium) while leaving the uterus intact. The uterine lining sheds for several days following the procedure, much like it would during menstruation. Scar tissue then forms, and monthly menstrual flow and any accompanying pain typically decrease, often dramatically.
Shoemaker Gynecology performs endometrial ablations using the GYNECARE THERMACHOICE® Uterine Balloon Therapy System. During the procedure, a small silicone balloon is inserted into the uterus, then filled with a saline solution and gently heated to treat the lining of your uterus. The procedure itself lasts about ten minutes, and in most cases, patients can resume their normal activities within a day or two.
Endometrial ablation is not recommended for women who may wish to become pregnant in the future, because the likelihood of pregnancy is significantly decreased following the procedure. Additionally, pregnancies following ablation can be dangerous for both mother and baby.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, but may also include the fallopian tubes, ovaries and/or the cervix. It is sometimes recommended for women who have uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, endometriosis, abnormal vaginal bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, adenomyosis (a thickening of the uterus), or cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries. Hysterectomies are performed using a variety of techniques.
Most women are familiar with ultrasound (also called a sonogram), a prenatal test for pregnant women which uses sound waves to show an image of the baby while still in the womb. Ultrasound has many uses beyond pregnancy, however. A few examples of when a doctor may use ultrasound include looking for the cause of pelvic pain or abnormal vaginal bleeding, checking the ovaries during infertility treatment, and examining uterine fibroids.
Saline infused sonohysterogram is an advanced form of ultrasound used to identify the underlying cause of problems such as abnormal uterine bleeding, infertility, and repeated miscarriage. Fluid is injected through the cervix into the uterus and then ultrasound is used to create images of the uterine cavity. This fluid provides more detail than ultrasound used alone and may be recommended when a woman has had a normal ultrasound exam but is still having symptoms.
Shoemaker Gynecology uses the FemVue system which allows us to detect uterine abnormalities and also assess whether the fallopian tubes are open. FemVue uses a mixture of saline and air in a continuous stream. The air produces bubbles; the doctor watches to see if bubbles flow unimpeded through the fallopian tubes, indicating they are open. The procedure takes between 10 and 30 minutes, with results available immediately. Click here to learn more about FemVue.
In the event that more conservative methods of treatment are unsuccessful, surgical options may be considered for women with urinary incontinence. The type of surgery recommended will depend on many factors, such as age, future childbearing plans, lifestyle, medical history, general health, the root cause of the incontinence, and the need for hysterectomy or treatment of other pelvic issues. Shoemaker Gynecology performs the tension-free vaginal tape procedure, conventional sling surgery, and colposuspension surgery.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a disorder in which organs in the pelvic region shift out of their normal position, or prolapse. Although a number of non-surgical treatment options are available for pelvic organ prolapse, surgery is sometimes recommended when symptoms are severe and non-surgical treatment options have not been successful. Some types of reconstructive surgery are done through an incision in the vagina or abdomen. Others are done with laparoscopy or robotically.
Shoemaker Gynecology performs biologic graft and synthetic mesh repairs, anterior and posterior colporrhaphy, laparoscopic colposuspension, and minimally invasive hysterectomies. The specific procedure recommended is based on a number of factors, including age, childbearing plans, and other health conditions.