Surgical Options to Diagnose and Treat Infertility
For women, there are several surgical options to diagnose and correct reproductive issues that may be limiting fertility.
These minimally procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis. Many are performed under general anesthesia, but the patient can go home the same day and resume light activity right away.
When Is It Used?
Such procedures diagnose and treat common causes of female infertility such as:
- Scar tissue, adhesive pelvic disease
- Fallopian tube damage
- Ovarian cysts
What Do I Need to Know?
Laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses a special instrument called a laparoscope. The laparoscope is a long, slender device that can be inserted through a small incision in the abdomen. It is attached to a camera that allows the doctor to view the abdominal and pelvic organs on a television screen.
Laparoscopy has several benefits. There is normally less pain after laparoscopic surgery than after open abdominal surgery, less risk for scar tissue formation, and recovery is generally faster than recovery from open abdominal surgery.
For a few days after the procedure, patients may feel tired and have some discomfort and soreness around the incisions made in the abdomen and navel. Though patients can return to their normal activities within a week or so after the surgery, there are restrictions, such as avoiding heavy lifting or exercise for a period of time.
A hysteroscope is a thin, lighted telescope-like device that is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The hysteroscope transmits the image of the inside of the uterus onto a television screen.
Through the hysteroscope, the lining of the uterus and the openings of the fallopian tubes can be seen. If a biopsy, polyp removal, myomectomy (fibroid resection) or another procedure is required, small instruments will be passed through the hysteroscope.
In many instances, at OC Fertility this procedure may be done in the office setting without anesthesia.
It is normal to have some mild cramping or a little bleeding for a few days after the procedure.
When the fibroids affect the uterine cavity are large (>10cm) or symptomatic, then it may be advisable to surgically remove them. Some fibroids may be managed temporarily with medications, such as Lupron. Though there are non-surgical treatments for managing symptomatic fibroids, such as uterine artery embolization, these therapies are contra-indicated in women wishing to preserve their future fertility.
An overgrowth of glandular cells in the lining of the uterus (i.e., endometrium) can lead to the formation of growths called uterine polyps. These polyps are usually benign, however, if large enough they can interfere with a woman’s ability to achieve or maintain a pregnancy.
While medicine may be a short term solution, for women who want to get pregnant, the surgical removal of the polyps (polypectomy) may be the best course of action.
Information Source: American College of Gynecologic Surgeons
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