Laparoscopic surgery, also referred to as minimally invasive, endoscopic, keyhole, and Band-Aid surgery. Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves insertion of a narrow telescope-like instrument through a small incision in the belly button. This allows visualization of the abdominal and pelvic organs including the area of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Laparoscopic surgery has revolutionized gynecological surgery. Today, it is only rarely necessary to perform open gynecological surgery. It is now possible to convert approximately 95% of gynecological procedures which formerly required an abdominal incision into a relatively minor same day/one day procedure.
Semen can be used successfully almost indefinitely after cryopreservation. The longest reported successful storage is 21 years. It can be used for sperm donation where the recipient wants the treatment in a different time or place, or for men undergoing a vasectomy to still have the option to have children.
Laparoscopy is often used to find the cause of abdominal pain, infertility, or other problems in the reproductive organs. Problems that occur with a woman’s reproductive organs sometimes cannot be found by a physical examination alone. Other tests, X-ray, or ultrasound may still leave some uncertainty. In these cases, a slender telescope-like instrument, called a laparoscope, that is inserted through a small cut just below the navel. Although this method does represent surgery that requires anesthesia and involves some discomfort afterward, it is usually safe, and the recovery period is short, usually less than a week. Laparoscopy is done to help the doctor determine what is wrong and, at times, allow the problem to be corrected at the same time. It is useful for diagnosing endometriosis, scar tissue or adhesions, cysts, hernias and other diseases which cause pelvic pain. Laparoscopy is also used as a method of sterilization since you can see and destroy part of the fallopian tubes with clips, bands or electrical current.
Ectopic Pregnancies– Laparoscopy allows you to find the ectopic pregnancy and remove it by either opening or removing the fallopian tube. Pain in the lower abdomen can have many causes. If the pain occurs early in pregnancy, a diagnostic laparoscopy may be performed because of the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy the fertilized egg develops in the uterus, but in an ectopic pregnancy, the egg may lodge elsewhere, such as in a tube. As the egg grows, the thin wall of the tube balloons outward and eventually may burst. With laparoscopy, some pregnancies that develop outside the uterus can be diagnosed in time to protect the mother’s health and prevent severe damage to the tubes so that future pregnancies are possible.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy–there are three broad types of hysterectomy which can be performed with a laparoscope saving you open surgery.
Treatment of endometriosis and pelvic adhesions– these can be destroyed either with a surgical laser or an electric knife. Sharp, deep pain in the pelvis during intercourse or at other times may be caused by endometriosis. This is a condition in which tissue like the inner lining of the uterus is found growing in other areas in the pelvis. Sometimes this tissue is seen on the surface of the tubes, ovaries, uterus, bowel, or on other parts of the body in the lower abdomen. This tissue bleeds at the end of each menstrual cycle, just as if it were in the uterus. Since the fluid cannot be flushed freely out of the body, it can build up inside, causing nearby tissues to become red, swollen, and painful. Adhesions can also cause pain. This occurs when, during the healing process, tissues grow together, which can occur with infection, endometriosis, and surgery. Movements of the body will stretch the adhesions, causing discomfort or a sense of binding. If adhesions are found, they can be separated surgically during laparoscopy.
Treatment of ovarian cysts– non-cancerous cysts can often be removed easily. The ovaries sometimes develop cysts, or fluid-filled sacs. These cysts may be harmless, causing only mild pain. Some cause infertility or menstrual disorders. Ovarian cysts may disappear after a short time. If they don’t, the doctor may want to perform laparoscopy to find out what type they are, since some of these cysts on the ovaries may need to be removed surgically. Tumors of the uterus can also be examined by laparoscopy.
Removal of pedunculated fibroids (leiomyoma)
Infertility: Laparoscopy may be used to determine the cause of infertility. In some women the fallopian tubes are blocked. This can prevent sperm and egg from coming together, causing infertility. With laparoscopy, a simple test confirms this possibility. A colored fluid is injected through the uterus. If the tubes are open the fluid will flow out the ends of the tubes into the abdomen. The surgeon can see this through the laparoscope.