No one attempting to have a baby wants to receive a diagnosis of infertility. However, when the cause is unclear, it can make the assessment even more disheartening. While unexplained reproductive irregularities are often the source of great concern among patients who wish to conceive, many of these issues can be identified and corrected using a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as laparoscopy.
How a Laparoscopy Procedure Works
A laparoscopy is a medical procedure used to view a woman’s reproductive organs. A laparoscope, a thin surgical tool, is passed through a small incision in the abdomen, typically in the navel.
This minimally-invasive procedure is done under general or local anesthesia. A laparoscope is a small, thin fiber-optic tube equipped with a light and camera which is inserted into two or more small incisions. The doctor will examine the region for fibroids, polyps, growths, adhesions, scar tissue, and cysts. If necessary small samples of tissue are taken for testing.
The doctor can look directly at the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and nearby organs to detect abnormalities with a laparoscope.
During the procedure, which lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, the abdomen will be inflated with gas to gently push the organs away from the abdominal wall so they may be observed.
After inflating, the doctor will insert the laparoscope into the incisions and be able to view the interior of the pelvic cavity via a video screen transmitting the images from the camera.
If the doctor concludes that any problems detected can be corrected, they may then use small surgical instruments through the laparoscope to remove scar tissue, fibroids, or endometrial tissue that is incorrectly implanted outside the uterus. These can be removed by cutting the tissue or through a laser beam or electric current.
Finally, the surgeon will close the incision in your abdomen with stitches. Typically there is little to no scarring involved in a laparoscopy fertility procedure.
Benefits of Laparoscopy
For many reproductive anomalies requiring correction, laparoscopy has replaced standard open surgery. Because this type of intervention is considerably less invasive than previous surgical techniques, it generally results in significantly shorter recovery times and overwhelmingly favorable outcomes.
Laparoscopy offers the dual benefits of being an effective diagnostic tool and surgical technique. By detecting and correcting the fundamental cause of infertility, the patient improves her odds of achieving pregnancy in a shorter timeframe than what can be achieved with traditional open surgery.
Highly delicate and precise procedures can be performed through extremely small incisions that don’t result in permanent scarring.
Laparoscopy procedures offer the following advantages:
- Minimal pain
- Lower infection rates
- Undetectable incisions/scars
- Faster and easier return to regular activities
A female pelvic laparoscopy is often recommended when other diagnostic tests, like an X-ray or an ultrasound, cannot confirm the cause of a condition.
Laparoscopic intervention can detect abnormalities so small that they don’t generate symptoms and can be missed during other diagnostic evaluations, including hysterosalpingography.
Conditions Addressed by Laparoscopy
This procedure can be used to:
- Find the cause of pain in the pelvic and abdominal regions
- Detect and treat suspicious cysts, growths, and abnormal tissue.
- Confirm endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Look for blockage of the fallopian tubes or other causes of infertility
Though surgical treatments are often recommended for patients experiencing symptoms of medical abnormalities, laparoscopic procedures have been credited with delivering impressive outcomes for patients whose fertility doesn’t have an immediately obvious cause.
Patients experiencing unexplained infertility and who have not achieved success after undergoing preliminary treatments like ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination (IUI) might benefit from diagnostic laparoscopy.
After the surgery, your doctor will discuss pregnancy options with you. If the fallopian tubes are repaired, or fibroids are removed, pregnancy may be likely without assisted reproductive technology.
Fertility treatments are recommended when pregnancy doesn’t occur within 6-9 months after surgery.
At PRC, we are proud to offer the latest innovative fertility treatments, giving patients access to state-of-the-art therapies while integrating effective full-body wellness strategies.
Call us at (866) 970-3050 to discuss whether a laparoscopy fertility procedure is right for you.