Laparoscopy has had the effect of a revolution in the medical world, especially in the field of infertility because it has many advantages over more traditional surgical techniques. It can both accurately diagnose certain causes of infertility that treat them.
Laparoscopy: a technique of minimally invasive surgery
- Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique to visualize the inside of the abdominal cavity to diagnose various pathologies (we speak of diagnostic laparoscopy) or to treat lesions affecting the abdominal organs: we speak of laparoscopic surgery or surgery with closed belly, as opposed to the more conventional surgical procedures requiring to practice rather wide openings.
- Because this is one of the great strengths of laparoscopy: it only requires a small incision, under general anesthesia, to inject carbon dioxide (CO2) and introduce the endoscope, a kind of very thin optical tube equipped with a mini-camera and a lighting system, in the abdominal cavity. The "gas bubble" created in the abdominal cavity provides a small space, ideal for a panoramic view: the images filmed by the endoscope are transmitted in real time on a screen.
- If necessary, very fine surgical tools can also be introduced by other mini-incisions of about 5 mm.
Infertility: what can laparoscopy be used for?
- Laparoscopy examines all the organs of the abdominal cavity, including those of the female genitals.
- It is thus often used to look for a physical cause of infertility such as obstruction of the fallopian tubes, the presence of uterine tissues outside the uterus (endometriosis) or uterine fibroids, benign tumors usually mildly embarrassing but can still lead to infertility when they are very bulky or particularly misplaced.
- Incidentally, laparoscopy can also be used to take a sample (biopsy) to ensure that the tumor is benign.
- Laparoscopy also makes it possible to surgically treat many causes of infertility, for example via ablation of uterine fibroids or salpingostomy (creating an opening in the fallopian tube close to the ovaries).
Laparoscopy: advantages and disadvantages
- Whoever says mini-incisions also says mini-scars, but the advantages of laparoscopy are not only aesthetic.
- It also limits bleeding, postoperative pain and the risk of infections.
- In addition, if you have laparoscopy, you can get back to work faster than with conventional surgery.
- As for its disadvantages, they are minimal. However, there is a risk of poor tolerance to carbon dioxide, but it is really very rare and it is sufficient for the surgeon to open a larger opening (as in a conventional surgery) to solve the problem.
- Finally, you may eventually have a little sore shoulders after laparoscopy: this transient pain is linked to the fact that the CO2 has not yet been completely absorbed by the body. It disappears in the days following the operation.
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