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Can Reproductive Surgery Help with Infertility?

If you’re struggling with infertility, you already know that it can be caused by a number of factors. Certain causes of infertility cannot be treated with surgical procedures, but some can. If your infertility is caused by endometriosis, fibroids, tubal blockage, or cervical incompetence, reproductive surgery may help restore your fertility.

Reproductive Surgery for Endometriosis 

Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. It is often linked to infertility and chronic pain. According to the Office on Women’s Health, endometriosis may affect up to 11% of American women ages 15 to 44. That’s more than 6.5 million women suffering from endometriosis. 

Endometriosis can be treated with certain types of reproductive surgery which may help with infertility. Surgery is usually reserved for patients with severe symptoms or who are having fertility problems. The da Vinci robotic system can be used to perform a laparoscopic excision (removal) of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Another procedure called a presacral neurectomy can be performed with robotic assistance as well. This procedure is used to relieve pain and is often done when pain persists after an endometrial excision.

Uterine Fibroid Removal

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. Most women will have fibroids at some point and may not even know it. Other women experience pain and infertility due to fibroids. Those women often seek treatment to remove fibroids to relieve pain or increase their chances of getting pregnant.

A type of reproductive surgery called a myomectomy can be used to remove uterine fibroids. A myomectomy can be done with assistance from the da Vinci robotic system. A myomectomy can also be done in an open procedure, meaning that a larger incision is made in the abdomen to access the uterus and remove the fibroids. The goal of a myomectomy is to remove fibroids that are causing symptoms. This surgery is done as an alternative to a hysterectomy for women who want to have children because it preserves fertility.

Procedures to Fix Tubal Blockages

The fallopian tubes are two tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus (each ovary is connected to a fallopian tube. The fallopian tubes allow eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus during ovulation. When the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, the egg is not able to be fertilized by sperm or travel back to the uterus after fertilization. This is called tubal factor infertility.

Tubal blockages can be treated by a procedure called tubal recanalization or fallopian tube catheterization. In this procedure, the doctor uses X-ray imaging to guide a wire into the blocked tube. The doctor then opens the tube using a catheter.

Surgical Treatment of Cervical Insufficiency/Incompetence

Cervical insufficiency (or cervical incompetence) is a condition in which the cervix widens and becomes thinner before a pregnancy has reached term. This causes premature birth or loss of pregnancy. A procedure called a transabdominal cerclage (TAC) can be performed laparoscopically to prevent the cervix from shortening or opening too early. It can be done before or during pregnancy to prevent pregnancy loss.

Tubal Ligation Reversal

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are blocked, cut, or tied to prevent pregnancy. It is intended to be a form of permanent birth control, but it can be reversed sometimes if a woman wants to get pregnant again. The reproductive surgery used to reverse tubal ligation is called tubal anastomosis. It can be performed as a microsurgical procedure with robotic assistance.

Dr. TamerYalcinkaya of Carolinas Fertility Institute is a fertility specialist with an expertise in da Vinci Robotic Surgery. Dr Yalcinkaya has a wealth of experience in all of the surgical procedures mentioned above as well as several other procedures. If you think you could benefit from reproductive surgery, call us at (336) 448-9100 to make an appointment in the Triad, or (844) 686-2233 for our Charlotte office.