As the name suggests, these type of surgeries are carried out through small incisions, like punctures, made strategically at three or four sites in the abdominal wall. Since there are no big cuts made, it is also known as Minimally Invasive Surgery.
With advances in medical technology and availability of superior equipment, almost all types of gynaecological procedures can be carried out through the laparoscope.
In Infertility, laparoscope evaluation serves not only as a diagnostic tool but also a therapeutic (treatment) purpose. The surgeon is able to visualise the reproductive organs: the entire pelvis, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries on a screen under high magnification. Problems like adhesions, tubal blockages, bulky polycystic ovaries and endometriosis can be diagnosed with the help of fine instruments inserted through the keyhole incisions and are corrected to enhance fertility.
Various Gynaecological Laparoscopic procedures are :-
- Removal of uterus (hysterectomy)
- Removal of uterine fibroids or myomectomy
- Ovarian cyst removal
- Surgery for endometriosis including removal of endometriotic cysts and adhesions
- Surgery for ectopic pregnancy
- Fertility enhancing procedures like 1) ovarian drilling of bulky polycystic ovaries, 2) ablation of endometrial lesion, 3) drainage or removal of endometriotic chocolate cysts, 4) adhesiolysis of adhesions around the tubes and ovaries restoring normal tubo-ovarian anatomy 5) clipping of swollen unhealthy fallopian tubes prior to IVF to improve the success rate of IVF.
Why should you choose Laparoscopy over Open Surgery?
- Rapid recovery – since the procedure is minimally invasive with only small punctures of 5-10 mm, postoperative recovery is quicker and hospital stay reduced. You are on your feet faster and able to resume normal life and work in a shorter time.
- Less post surgery pain- surgery being minimally invasive does not mean there is no pain. You are undergoing surgery and it will have its impact on the body , but requirement of pain killers after a day or two is much less compared to open surgery.
- Chances of infection are much less and you bounce back to normal much more quickly
- Cosmetically better – for young girls or women requiring surgical procedure, this is of great importance as laparoscopic surgery will give only small 5-10 mm scars versus a midline or bikini line scar of 5-10 cm required for open surgery
Is Laparoscopic surgery Risky ?
Surgery is surgery, be it open or laparoscopic and complications are known with any procedure. In experienced hands however complications are significantly less as compared to open surgery as long as the right kind of surgical technique is chosen for a particular patient.
So what is the right choice for you?
As a laparoscopic surgeon, you would probably expect me to say that key hole surgery is superior – and you would be right!
But surgical technique is not only about personal preference of the doctor or patient. Though I am personally pro – laparoscopy, being a good surgeon is about weighing the risks and benefits for each individual and their particular problem ; for example: for huge fibroids, or ovarian tumours fill up the whole tummy or ovarian cancers open surgery is usually the best practice. Although in right hands, laparoscopic surgery is usually beneficial, “ a one size fits all” approach is never right .