Hysteroscopic & Laparoscopic Surgeries and Your Fertility Journey

Hysteroscopic & Laparoscopic Surgeries
Juno Fertility Dr. Meredith Giffin

Dr. Meredith Giffin, MD, Juno Fertility

We recently welcomed Dr. Giffin to our Juno Guelph clinic. Dr. Giffin is an OB/GYN who already provides outstanding gynecological and obstetrical care to the Guelph community. With Dr. Giffin on board, we are thrilled to offer Juno patients the advantage of continuity of care. Should any patient need a gynecology procedure to assist in their fertility journey, we can now provide this within our clinic referral program.Dr. Giffin has a special interest in laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures. We would like to take this opportunity to offer more information on these procedures and how they can be useful diagnostic tools through your fertility journey.

Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can detect problems that cannot always be detected by an external physical examination. These procedures provide a direct look at the pelvic organs, which adds valuable information regarding infertility and common gynecologic disorders. These procedures may be recommended as part of your infertility care.They can be used as diagnostic (for detecting) and operative (detecting and treating) purposes.

What is Laparoscopy?

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to examine the organs inside the abdomen. Many abdominal disorders can be safely treated at the time of diagnosis through the laparoscope. During operative laparoscopy, the physician will insert additional instruments such as probes, scissors, grasping devices, or laser. Some of the conditions that can be treated with operative laparoscopy include: treating adhesions (scar tissue) from around the fallopian tubes and ovaries; removing ovarian cysts and treating ectopic pregnancies. Endometriosis can also be removed or destroyed from the outside of the uterus, ovaries or peritoneum.

How is Laparoscopic surgery done?

The physician inserts a laparoscope (a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera) through an incision in the abdominal wall. The camera on the laparoscope allows the surgeon to see inside your body in real-time, without the need for an open surgery. The patients are generally able to return home the same day of surgery. Patients report quicker recovery time and usually return to full activity in 3 to 7 days.

What is Hysteroscopy?

The physician inserts a hysteroscope, a thin, lighted tube into the vagina to examine the cervix and the uterus. Hysteroscopy is a useful procedure to evaluate women with infertility, recurrent miscarriage, abnormal uterine bleeding, uterinescarring or polyps. You may be referred for hysteroscopy if you are suffering from heavy and prolonged menstruation, bleeding between periods, or have an ultrasound or sonohysterogram that shows an abnormality inside your uterus. Hysteroscopy can also be used to remove scar tissue, called adhesions, polyps and fibroids as well as to locate an intrauterine device (IUD). Hysteroscopy is one of the tests a fertility doctor may prescribe to evaluate the possible causes of infertility.

Diagnostic hysteroscopy is used to examine the uterine cavity without the need for hospitalization. Recovery time is brief and significantly less than the recovery time of abdominal surgery.
For a few days after the procedure, you may have some mild cramping or bleeding. You might also have a watery discharge that can last for about 24 hours. Your doctor may give you medicine to help with any pain. You will have to avoid sex for at least two weeks after the procedure.

Hysteroscopy and IVF

Unsuccessful IVF attempts may be explained by either embryonic or uterine factors. Some fertility clinics routinely perform hysteroscopy on women with failed IVF cycles before further attempts are made. Hysteroscopy allows the visualization of the lining of the uterus and removal of any abnormal growths, which could increase the chances of IVF success.
However, a large randomized study reported in the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in 2014 found no significant difference in IVF success rates between those who had hysteroscopy before IVF and those who did not.
In Juno we do not do routine hysteroscopies following failed embryo transfers. We only refer when there is a suspicion, based on ultrasound imaging, of an intrauterine lesion that may interfere with embryo implantation.

Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy allow physicians to diagnose and correct many gynecologic disorders without the need for hospitalization. These are essential tools that allow us to further personalize your fertility plan. We are excited to have Dr. Giffin on board to offer these services to our patients.

If you have any questions regarding this procedure, send us your questions, and our team will be happy to provide you with more information.


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