When infertility is the result of a physical blockage or abnormality that prevents conception or implantation, surgery is often the most effective method to correct the underlying problem causing the infertility. Today there are minimally invasive out-patient surgical techniques and advanced microsurgical technologies. These female surgical procedures are safer, easier to recover from, and more effective than ever before.
Hysteroscopy is a diagnostic and surgical procedure that makes examining the inside of the uterus possible without making an abdominal cut (incision). During hysteroscopy, a lighted viewing instrument called a hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. Treatment can also be done through the hysteroscope during the same procedure. When performed for fertility treatment, a hysteroscopy usually involves the removal of uterine fibroids, polyps, or adhesions.
While the patient is under anesthesia, the cervix is dilated, allowing for the insertion of the hysteroscope into the uterine cavity. Carbon dioxide gas is used to gently inflate the uterus, making it easier to see and access the areas to be treated. Specialized instruments are then used to perform the necessary fertility treatment procedure. When the operation is complete, the gas is released. Since no incisions are necessary, there are no stitches to be removed and recovery tends to be very brief.
Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves making one, two, or three very small cuts in the abdomen, through which the doctor inserts a laparoscope and specialized surgical instruments. A laparoscope is a thin, fiber-optic tube, fitted with a light and camera. Laparoscopy allows your doctor to see the abdominal organs and sometimes make repairs, without making a larger incision that can require a longer recovery time and hospital stay.
Laparoscopic surgery is used to treat causes of infertility, allowing you a better chance at getting pregnant either naturally or with fertility treatments. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, a potential symptom of endometriosis or PID, your doctor may suggest laparoscopic surgery to determine the source of the pain and possibly treat it (by removing scar tissue, for example). Laparoscopic surgery is also performed in the case of ectopic pregnancy.
Some causes of infertility, like endometriosis, can only be diagnosed through laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows your doctor to not only see what’s inside your abdomen, but also biopsy suspicious growths or cysts.
Laparoscopy is an out-patient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor will make a small cut around your belly button. Through this cut, a needle will be used to fill your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. This provides room for your doctor to see the organs and move the surgical instruments. Once your abdomen is filled with gas, the surgeon will then place the laparoscope through the cut to look around at your pelvic organs. The surgeon may also biopsy tissue for testing
A myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids. These benign tumors develop in the muscles of the uterine wall and, if they grow large enough, can push into the uterus, causing pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and frequent urination. Because uterine fibroids can complicate or even prevent pregnancy, fertility treatment may require their removal.