December 30, 2005

Keyhole Surgery for Cysts Protects the Ovaries

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The damage to "ovarian reserve" is quantitative rather than qualitative when ovarian cysts are excised using minimally invasive laparoscopy, Italian researchers report. Importantly, they say, this approach has a good chance of preserving a woman's fertility.

An ovarian endometrioma is a cyst that is attached to the ovaries and that often contains ovarian tissue.

Dr. Guido Ragni and colleagues from Universita Degli Studi di Milano studied 38 women who had previously undergone laparoscopic excision of ovarian cysts. They evaluated ovarian response to hyperstimulation in the women who were trying to become pregnant using assisted reproductive techniques including in vitro fertilization and direct injection of sperm into the egg.

The team reports that after keyhole surgery, the number of dominant follicles was reduced by 60 percent, the number of eggs was reduced by 53 percent and the number of embryos was reduced by 55 percent. The number of high-quality embryos in the affected ovary was reduced by 52 percent.

However, fertilization rates and the rate of high-grade embryos were similar to that produced by the intact ovary.

The team concludes that "the fertilization rate and rate of high-quality embryos are not influenced by excision of previous endometriomas."

SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology December 2005.