But with advancement in technologies, people like Hauwa can now heave a sigh of relieve. They need not do a surgery to get a single fibroid removed. With technological advancement and innovation, many of our traditional surgeries can be safely performed under this “minimally invasive” technique. Under the field of gynaecology, the two main types of surgery are: Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy.
Laparoscopy is a procedure that is about how to look inside the abdomen and pelvis using a laparoscope. This helps to see the ovaries, outside of the tubes and uterus and other organs inside the abdomen. The laparoscope is a special telescope to which a light source and camera is attached. It is about as thick as a pen and about 12 cm long.
Laparoscopy is commonly used to find the cause of symptoms such as abdominal pain, pelvic pain as part of investigation of infertility.
In addition to simply looking inside, a doctor can use fine instruments to perform surgery inside the abdomen. This laparoscopic surgery is also called ‘key-hole surgery’ or ‘minimal invasive surgery’ and maybe used to treat cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, perform hysterectomy (removal of the womb) and even pelvic floor reconstruction.
On the other hand, hysteroscopy involves putting in a telescope to see the inside of the womb. The hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus through the opening of cervix allowing a surgeon or gynecologist to view interior of uterus. Sometimes the procedure is simply for diagnosis, and other times the procedure is used for treatment, such as the removal of a tissue sample or removal of a polyp or tumour. These days out-patient hysteroscopy is becoming increasingly popular with saline distension of l uterine cavity.
Dr. Chito Nwana, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gyneacologist at Tabitha Women’s Health Center Maitama, Abuja, says “during laparoscopic surgery, your doctor makes a five-milimeter to 10 millimetre incision (may be one or two) on you and with those incisions they can put a tube inside and use long instrument to operate by looking at the screen. In this case, we are not going to give you a long incision or cut you. That is what we use mostly for gynaecology surgery. Through that, we can do a hysterectomy, that is removing the uterus. Also, through these method women who have issues with fibroid or dysfunctional bleeding, gynaecologist can do the hysteroscopy through incisions and the person can go home that day,” Nwana explained.
Nwana says the advantages of these surgeries are numerous. “The advantage of doing this, is that it reduces post-operating pain, reducing hospital stay, reduce intra-operative blood lose and people will have much smaller scar after surgery. Hence, women can resume their normal activity sooner than after abdominal incisions.”
She, however, states conditions were a woman may not be able to do laparoscopic surgery. “If someone has multiple fibroid, then we cannot do this kind of surgery, but if the person has single or even two fibroid, then you can approach it lapascropically,” Nwana says.
On if a caesarean section can be conducted for a woman through the laparoscopy and hysteroscopy surgery, Nwana could not help laughing, saying science has not gotten there yet, adding that in that case, she would have had hundreds of women line up in her clinic daily.
With these advancement in medicine women, like Hauwa can have surgeries without their abdomen cut and can go back home same day.