Reproductive Surgery: What You Need to Know

Reproductive surgery with a team of surgeons

Reproductive Surgery: What You Need to Know

Some fertility-related issues, such as endometriosis, fibroids, uterine abnormalities and blocked fallopian tubes — may need to be diagnosed or treated with minimally invasive reproductive surgery.

New reproductive techniques and technologies allow most gynecologic surgical procedures to be performed as a minimally invasive surgery. This approach uses small (or sometimes no) incisions, is less invasive than traditional open surgery, and often permits patients to go home the same day.

The most common types of minimally invasive surgery performed by Fertility Specialists Medical Group (FSMG) are laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.

Mainly performed as an outpatient surgery, minimally invasive laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures are two procedures which are used to treat various reproductive disorders, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Tubal reconstruction, repair and tubal-ligation reversal
  • Repair and reconstruction of intrauterine abnormalities such as scar tissue and congenital malformations
  • Removal of endometrial tissue due to dysfunctional bleeding that is not responsive to medical therapy
  • Uterine fibroid treatment
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Ectopic pregnancy

What is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that utilizes a laparoscope. This consists of a small tube attached to a camera, as well as associated thin surgical instruments that can be inserted through small incisions in the abdomen.

These allow the fertility surgeon to effectively diagnose and repair issues in the reproductive organs. A laparoscopic procedure requires two or more small incisions in the abdomen, one usually through the belly button to minimize visual scars and decrease pain and healing time.

Laparoscopy typically takes about 30-90 minutes to complete and is typically performed under minimal general anesthesia.

What is a Hysteroscopy?

A hysteroscopy is a surgery that entails a hysteroscope. The hysteroscope is a small tube with a light and camera, which is inserted into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside of the uterine cavity.

Through a port attached to the hysteroscope, the uterus is filled with saline (sterile water) to open the cavity and allow for optimal visualization. A diagnostic hysteroscopy allows the doctor to assess the size, shape, and lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Small instruments are inserted through the hysteroscope to correct such problems as adhesions (scar tissue), fibroids, polyps or abnormalities in shape.

What Are the Risks of Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery, like any surgical procedure, is not without some risks. Approximately 1-2 percent of procedures involve complications that include:

  • Negative side effects from anesthesia (vomiting, nausea, headache, allergic reaction, lung infection)
  • Formation of adhesions (scar tissue)
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Injury to surrounding tissues such as bowel, bladder, nerves and blood vessels

Interested in learning more about fertility treatment and minimally invasive surgery, schedule an appointment.

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