Various surgeries performed with the help of a laparoscope – a tiny viewing instrument powered by fibre-optics – are available to maintain the health of the female reproductive system.
The very first laparoscopic surgery was performed as early as 1901. But it was not until the 1990s that minimally-invasive laparoscopic-aided techniques were introduced into endovascular, urological, gynecological, and cardiac surgery. In the last 50 years, laparoscopic instruments came from being used for merely diagnostic procedures and viewing to performing life-altering surgeries.
Today, laparoscopic-assisted procedures are used to treat:
- Removal of ectopic pregnancy
- Removal of ovarian cysts
These conditions are associated with a lot of physiological and psychological disturbance and pain.
In addition to treating maladies such as the ones mentioned above, laparoscopic surgery is also used for tubal ligation and various non-gynecologic procedures.
Laparoscopic procedures such as diagnostics and surgeries to treat the underlying causes are successful because they are minimally invasive and highly accurate. Since fine instruments, small incisions, and precise movements are employed in laparoscopic surgery, the patient requires considerably fewer drugs for pain relief. Post-operative recovery is faster and smoother.
The applications of laparoscopic surgery are on the rise in modern times. Here’s a look at some of the important ones:
[Do note that ‘lap’ here refers to ‘laparoscopic-assisted’]
Lap Ovarian Cystectomy: It is the removal of cysts from one or both of the ovaries. The formation of cysts at some point in the life of a female is quite common. Some cysts disappear on their own. At other times, they interfere with menstrual cycles or conception or cause pain during intercourse or your period. Such cysts can be removed via a minor incision on the abdomen.
Lap Endometriosis: Endometriosis is associated with painful, heavy periods, and often, infertility. Laparoscopic surgery to treat endometriosis uses a small camera inserted through an incision in the abdomen. The abdomen is inflated using gas to allow a clear view. Upon deciding the mode of treatment, the surgeon uses lasers, electricity, or a freezing process to destroy the endometrioma. This is the cyst or cells of the endometrium that grow outside the uterus, possibly on the ovary or in the fallopian tubes. Removal of the scar tissue and overgrown cells or cysts is called excision of the endometriosis. With minimal movements and without harming the neighbouring healthy cells, laparoscopic endometriosis allows the surgeon to treat endometriosis. It can be used alongside hormone therapy.
Lap Surgery for Ectopic pregnancy: When pregnancy – to be precise, the implantation of the embryo – happens inside the fallopian tube, it is not viable. The fetus will not survive and it can lead to hemorrhaging, potentially becoming life-threatening to the woman. To treat an ectopic pregnancy, laparoscopic surgery is recommended when treatment through hormones or other medication is not possible or has failed. A cannula mounted with a tiny camera is inserted into the abdomen near or below the navel. The fertilized cells are then removed. The surgeon also looks to repair or remove the damaged part of the fallopian tube. This is referred to as salpingectomy or salpingostomy depending on whether the tube has to be removed altogether or repaired in part to stem the rupture and bleeding.
Lap Sacro colpopexy: Sacral colpopexy refers to the surgical repair of an organ that has prolapsed or fallen back down in the pelvis. This surgery is required to keep the functioning of the bladder, intestines, and the sacral promontory intact. It can address the prolapse of the vaginal walls, cervix, or uterus in women of advanced age. This procedure allows the surgeon to repair the prolapsed walls of the vaginal vault, vaginal cuff, or the vaginal apex. Further, it seeks to reconstruct and improve the natural anatomic support in the pelvic region so that all bladder and bowel remain unaffected. Laparoscopic Sacro colpopexy is preferred over abdominal surgery as the latter is less invasive and allows the patient to recover more easily.
The procedures described above can help you at different stages of life by improving your reproductive, gynecologic, or non-gynecologic health.
Dr. Lavanya Kiran | Senior Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology | Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Narayana Multispeciality Clinic, Electronic City – Velankani & Narayana Multispeciality Clinic, Jayanagar