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Glossary

Adhesions: Fibrous scar tissue that causes pelvic organs or bowel loops to be adherent. They can occur due to endometriosis, infections or as a result of previous surgery.

Balloon catheter: A catheter usually inserted in the bladder and held in place with a balloon filled with air or liquid. It may also be inserted in the uterus to prevent the formation of scar tissue.

Biopsy: The process of obtaining a sample of tissue for microscopic examination. The term can also refer to the tissue sample obtained.

Cervix: The lower part of the uterus that leads to the vagina. It contains the cervical canal that connects the vagina and uterine cavity.

Congenital: Present at birth, usually referring to a defect.

Diagnostic hysteroscopy: A procedure to view the inside of the uterus and identify abnormalities with a thin, tube-like lighted instrument called a hysteroscope inserted through the cervix.

Diagnostic laparoscopy: A procedure that uses a thin, tube-like lighted instrument called a laparoscope to look for abnormalities in the pelvic organs such as the uterus. The laparoscope is inserted through the navel into the abdominal cavity.

Dilator: An instrument used to widen a narrow opening.

Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that occurs in an abnormal location outside the uterine cavity, commonly in the fallopian tube.

Electrosurgical instrument: An instrument that uses electrical current to incise or excise tissue and arrest bleeding.

Endometrial biopsy: Obtaining a sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for microscopic study.

Endometriosis: The presence of tissue normally seen in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) in an abnormal location such as in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or abdominal cavity. This can lead to adhesions, pain and infertility.

Endometrium: The inner lining of the uterus that thickens periodically (every 28 days) to receive a fertilized egg. In the absence of fertilization, the excess tissue is shed at the monthly period.

Fallopian tubes: Two tubular structures attached on either side of the uterus in which sperm and egg meet to fertilize.

Hematomas: Localized accumulation of blood in the tissues as a result of seepage from blood vessels.

Hysterosalpingogram: An X-ray used to view the inner shape and patency of the uterus and fallopian tubes with the help of a special dye injected through the cervix

Hysteroscope: A thin tube-like lighted viewing instrument that is inserted through the cervix to evaluate the inside of the uterus.

Hysteroscopy: A procedure to view the inside of the uterus with an instrument called a hysteroscope that is inserted through the cervix into the uterus.

Laparoscope: A thin tube-like lighted instrument inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall to examine the structures in the abdominal cavity including the female reproductive organs.

Laparoscopy: A procedure that uses a laparoscope inserted through the abdominal wall to view or operate on the structures within the abdominal cavity including the internal reproductive organs.

Laparotomy: Surgery performed by making an open incision in the abdominal wall.

Operative hysteroscopy: Operations such as removal of adhesions or tumors within the uterus using a hysteroscope along with slender surgical instruments.

Operative laparoscopy: Operations within the abdominal cavity such as removal of adhesions or endometriosis performed with a laparoscope inserted through the abdominal wall.

Ovarian cysts: Cysts filled with fluid abnormally present on the ovaries.

Ovaries: Two female sex organs present on either side in the pelvis that produce eggs and female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Peritoneum: A transparent smooth membrane that lines the inside of the abdomen and pelvis.

Polyps: A mass of tissue that protrudes or bulges out from the surface.

Robotic-assisted laparoscopy (RAL): A minimally invasive operation on the structures within the abdominal cavity performed with the help of robotic arms that are guided by a surgeon at a control station.

Suture: Thread used to close an incision after surgery. It is usually made of an absorbable material that does not need to be removed.

Ureters: Tubes that connect the two kidneys to the bladder.

Urinary retention: Inability to empty the bladder.

Uterine fibroids: Abnormal growths within the uterine wall containing smooth muscle, also referred to as leiomyoma or myoma.

Uterine septum: A congenital condition where an abnormal band of tissue divides the uterine cavity.

Uterus: A hollow organ located within the female pelvis where the fertilized egg or embryo implants and grows during pregnancy.

Venous thrombosis: A blood clot present within a vein.

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