Laparoscopic Surgery for Endometriosis
Reference Laparoscopy Opens New Window is the most common procedure used to diagnose and remove mild to moderate Reference endometriosis Opens New Window. Instead of using a large abdominal incision, the surgeon inserts a lighted viewing instrument called a laparoscope through a small incision. If the surgeon needs better access, he or she makes one or two more small incisions for inserting other surgical instruments.
If your doctor recommends a laparoscopy, it will be to:
- View the internal organs to look for signs of endometriosis and other possible problems. This is the only way that endometriosis can be diagnosed with certainty. But a "no endometriosis" diagnosis is never certain. Growths (implants) can be tiny or hidden from the surgeon's view.
- Remove any visible endometriosis implants and scar tissue that may be causing pain or infertility. If an endometriosis cyst is found growing on an ovary (endometrioma), it is likely to be removed.
You will be advised not to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before a laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is usually done under Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window, although you can stay awake if you have Reference local Opens New Window or Reference spinal anesthetic Opens New Window. A Reference gynecologist Opens New Window or surgeon performs the procedure.
For a laparoscopy, the abdomen is inflated with gas (carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide). The gas, which is injected with a needle, pushes the abdominal wall away from the organs so that the surgeon can see them clearly. The surgeon then inserts a laparoscope through a small incision and examines the internal organs. Additional incisions may be used to insert instruments to move internal organs and structures for better viewing. The procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
If endometriosis or scar tissue needs to be removed, your surgeon will use one of various techniques, including cutting and removing tissue (excision) or destroying it with a laser beam or electric current (electrocautery).
After the procedure, the surgeon closes the abdominal incisions with a few stitches. Usually there is little or no scarring.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: July 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology