Women who suffer from the condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which tends to cause infertility, may derive benefit by a procedure that can help to stimulate ovulation. The procedure is known as laparoscopic ovarian drilling. This surgical procedure uses lasers or electrocauterization to wear away selected areas of the female ovaries.
This is not a procedure that is in common use, but for some infertile women with PCOS, it can be a good option. Ovarian drilling can be the next step for women with PCOS who have tried medication and weight loss and have still failed to conceive.
The procedure involves drilling parts of the ovary by way of small incision surgery called laparoscopy. This surgery is done only under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a tiny cut somewhere in the vicinity of your belly button. A tube is then inserted into your abdomen which is inflated with the help of a miniscule amount of carbon dioxide gas.
Inflating the abdomen helps the surgeon insert the laparoscope. This surgical instrument gives him visual access to the internal organs.
The doctor can also use the incision to insert his surgical implements. In some instances, the surgeon will need to make additional incisions to get the procedure done. However, the incisions are so small that laparoscopic surgery is also known as, "Band-Aid surgery."
This type of surgery is considered same day surgery: you should be able to go home the same day you have the procedure. While you may be able to take on your regular activities within a day of the surgery, complete recovery can take anywhere from a few days to 2-4 weeks.
Ovarian drilling has been demonstrated to restore ovulation in women who have PCOS. The procedure has been shown to give women with PCOS a rate of ovulation of 80% with a 50% chance of pregnancy. These statistics were gathered from a study that included around 1000 women. The perfect candidates for the procedure are on the younger end of their childbearing years with body mass indexes (BMI) at normal levels.
There are risks with ovarian drilling as there are with any surgery. These risks include:
*Abdominal pain (from abdominal inflation with gas during the procedure)
*Reactions to anesthesia
*Scarring or adhesions
*Vascular damage or damage to internal organs
*Infection or bleeding at the site of the incision