Reproductive surgery refers to gynecologic surgery specifically intended to restore or maintain reproductive function. Many specialists at Penn Fertility Care are nationally recognized for their surgical expertise in addressing reproductive disorders. We are proud to be able to offer individualized and comprehensive care drawing upon the most recent advances in both medical and surgical approaches to reproductive health.
Most reproductive surgery procedures can be performed in a minimally invasive fashion through techniques including laparoscopy (small incisions in the abdominal wall permitting insertion of a camera into the pelvic cavity, with or without robotic assistance) or hysteroscopy (insertion of a camera through the vagina into the uterine cavity without any incisions).
Most laparoscopic, robotic, or hysteroscopic surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. In some circumstances, a laparotomy or open incision may be required or recommended. If this is the case, a short inpatient hospitalization may be required
Examples of reproductive surgical procedures offered by Penn Fertility Care include:
Removal of Uterine Fibroids
Many reproductive surgery patients have uterine fibroids, which can be symptom-free or cause excessive uterine bleeding, recurrent miscarriage, pelvic discomfort and pressure, or anemia. Depending on the fibroid size, number, and location, these benign tumors can be removed with laparoscopy or hysteroscopy, though at times an open incision is required.
Removal of Ovarian Cysts
Benign ovarian cysts are common during a woman’s reproductive years, and many do not require surgical intervention. If surgery is required to address a large, persistent, or symptomatic ovarian cyst, it can typically be accomplished laparoscopically.
Tubal Ligation Reversal
In vitro fertilization is most often used to treat patients who have had their fallopian tubes tied or cauterized. However, in select cases, surgical tubal ligation reversal may be appropriate to restore fertility. This procedure is typically performed laparoscopically with robotic assistance.
Treatment of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common case of pelvic pain in women of reproductive age, and is even more prevalent among women with infertility. While symptoms of endometriosis are typically treated with medication in women who are not trying to conceive, surgery is sometimes required in women who are trying to conceive. Surgical treatment of endometriosis is typically accomplished laparoscopically.
Repair of Uterine Abnormalities
During fetal development, abnormalities of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or vagina may occur. Such malformations may contribute to infertility, pelvic pain, or recurrent pregnancy loss. Depending on the condition, surgical treatment is typically performed through the vagina, or with laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
Removal of Scar Tissue
Scar tissue can develop in the pelvic cavity or within the uterine cavity after a previous surgery, infection, or as a result of endometriosis. Scar tissue in the pelvic cavity may contribute to blockage of the fallopian tubes, whereas scar tissue in the uterine cavity can make it difficult for an early pregnancy to implant. When surgical treatment of scar tissue is required, it can be performed with laparoscopy or hysteroscopy depending on its location.