Low-Impact Surgery Preserves Fertility


BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Endometriosis is a painful condition where abnormal tissue grows on the outside of a woman’s reproductive organs; often causing monthly cramping and nausea. In severe cases, it can lead to infertility. Now, new surgical tools are allowing doctors to get patients back on their feet faster than ever before.

Every time Mallory Harrison holds the warrior pose, she feels stronger than ever.

“I need yoga to just kind of get my stress levels down,” Harrison told Ivanhoe.

But for many months, these moves were impossible to perform.

Harrison continued, “I would start to cancel plans because I was just in so much pain I just didn’t want to get out of bed because I’d have my heating pad in bed, and at least then I could just lay there and try to deal with it.”

Mallory had pain from endometriosis that didn’t respond to treatment. She wanted to avoid ugly scars, so surgery wasn’t an option, until Mallory met gynecologic surgeon Kevin Audlin. Doctor Audlin uses new laparoscopic tools that are smaller than ever, just three millimeters in size instead of the standard five millimeter —in what’s being called low-impact surgery.

“Low impact, because not only are we using three milliliter instruments, but we are using low intra-abdominal pressure with gas,” Kevin Audlin, MD, Endometriosis Care, Mercy Medical Center Baltimore explained. (Read Full Interview)

Meaning a patient’s abdomen wouldn’t have to be fully inflated for surgeons to maneuver. Using three tiny incisions the size of sesame seeds, Doctor Audlin inserts these tools to remove the extra tissue.

Doctor Audlin continued, “With these, I am just putting a little dab of glue, there is not even a need for a suture.”

Mallory’s abdomen looks virtually untouched. She’s pain-free, and relieved that her fertility has been preserved.

“I still wanted that option to be open to me. I didn’t want to have to let the endometriosis decide whether or not I could have kids,” Harrison stated.

Giving her even more flexibility to manage her health as she gets older.

Surgeons are also using this type of low-impact procedure for hysterectomy and ovarian cysts, among other things.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Gabriella Battistiol, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4381

ENDOMETRIOSIS: Endometriosis is a condition that causes abnormal pelvic pain when the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be located in regions of the pelvic area; the bladder, bowel, uterus/vagina and rectum. Endometriosis is mostly unrecognizable, misdiagnosed and mistreated and can occur in teenagers and women in their 20s and 30s. This condition can impact women in all aspects of their lives; careers, finances, relationships and overall wellbeing. Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include but are not limited to; abnormal painful cycles, painful intercourse, nausea/vomiting, chronic fatigue and infertility. Currently, there are no known causes for endometriosis.

(Source: https://www.endofound.org/endometriosis)

LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY: A laparoscopy is a low-risk, surgical diagnostic procedure to examine the organs inside the abdomen. This is normally an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient will be able to go home the same day. If the patient experiences certain side effects from the procedure then an overnight stay at the hospital may be required. This procedure is done with an incision under the bellybutton and the abdominal area is then filled with carbon dioxide for the surgeon to have a clear view of the organs using a laparoscope. There can be up to four incisions made in the abdominal area depending on the number of tools that are necessary for the surgeon to proceed. The patient is placed under anesthesia during the procedure. Once the surgery is completed then the patient is under surveillance for a few hours to ensure that the surgery was a success. Recovery for a patient happens within the week after the procedure.

(Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/laparoscopy#purpose)

NEW TECHNIQUE: Now, new surgical tools are allowing doctors to help these patients get back to their daily lives faster, as well as prevent serious scarring. These new laparoscopic tools are just three millimeters in size, versus the standard five millimeters. This new technique is being referred to as low-impact surgery because not only are doctors using smaller instruments but they are also using a lower amount of gas pressure in the abdomen, which means the patient doesn’t have to be fully inflated for surgeons to maneuver. Using three tiny incisions the size of sesame seeds, doctors insert these tools and remove the extra tissue. In the end, the patient’s abdomen looks virtually untouched and they are pain-free.

(Source: Kevin Audlin, MD)


Dan Collins


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

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