Surgery can be the solution to some fertility challenges faced by both women and men. In fact, many CRM patients who thought that IVF was their only option for becoming pregnant conceived naturally after undergoing relatively simple, minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Fertility Surgery for Women
The Center's physicians are experienced surgeons who routinely perform minimally invasive laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures, which require less recovery time than traditional “open” surgery.
Laparoscopy is a surgical technique that enables the physician to examine the abdomen and pelvis by inserting a laparoscope (a thin fiberoptic tube with a camera at the end) through a small incision in the navel. Laparoscopy is a powerful diagnostic tool, allowing physicians to see problems which often are not detectable by a physical examination or ultrasound. Many conditions—such as tubal blockage, ovarian cysts, pelvic adhesions, uterine fibroids or endometriosis—can be treated by laparoscopy during the same surgery.
In addition, our surgeons are nationally and internationally recognized for performing advanced laparoscopic surgeries for hysterectomy (removal of large uterus due to fibroids) and extensive endometriosis.
Laparoscopy is typically an outpatient procedure; patients usually go home a few hours after the procedure is complete.
Hysteroscopy is a surgical technique that allows the physician to examine the uterine cavity using a small scope (camera) inserted into the uterus. While performing a hysteroscopy, the physician is able to remove fibroids, polyps and repair any scarring that may have resulted from prior uterine surgeries. All of these conditions, if left untreated, can lower the chances of both natural conception and conception using fertility treatments.
As with laparoscopy, patients usually need minimal recovery time after a hysteroscopic procedure.
Above: Before-and-after images of a uterine polyp
removal using hysteroscopy
The Center’s state-of-the-art equipment includes da Vinci surgical robots that allow surgeons to perform complex operations through small incisions—so-called “robotic surgery.”
Fertility Surgery for Men
CRM partners with the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Microsurgery of Weill Cornell Medical College, the first university center in the United States devoted exclusively to male infertility treatment. Our urologist colleagues have pioneered sperm-retrieval and microsurgical repair techniques that have allowed thousands of men to become fathers.
Male reproductive urologic microsurgeons can repair or remove anatomical obstructions that prevent sperm from reaching the ejaculate (liquid that carries the sperm). This category includes vasectomy reversal, congenital blockages or blockages that occur as a result of infection or prior surgery such as hernia repair. Microsurgery is also the method of choice to repair varicoceles (varicose veins in the scrotum). A varicocele is the most common cause of low sperm count and low testosterone.
Surgical Sperm Retrieval
For men with very low or no sperm count or in cases where sperm is being produced but not reaching the ejaculate, surgeons locate and collect sperm for use in ICSI with an IVF cycle or to be frozen for future use. Most of these procedures, including micro-TESE (microscopic testicular sperm extraction, pronounced "tess-ee"), are performed in an outpatient setting.
Please contact a physician's office at the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Microsurgery of Weill Cornell Medical College for more information and to make an appointment.