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How does surgery help treat polycystic ovary syndrome?

Dr. Mark Perloe, MD
Fertility Specialist

Ovarian drilling is a last resort to manage PCOS. This procedure is best performed during a laparoscopy. A small needle is used to introduce an electrical current into the central portion of the ovary to dramatically reduce the production of male hormones by the ovary. It is not necessary to "pop" all the cysts, in fact, the problem area lies deeper inside the ovary.

Complications from surgery can include scar tissue formation that makes pregnancy more difficult as well as menopause if over agressive treatment is provided. For those desiring pregnancy about 1/3 will still need an ovulation medication after treatment. And, for an unknown reason, this treatment appears not to work in those who are smokers.

In the past, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) was treated with a surgery called ovarian wedge resection. Now PCOS is usually treated with medication to enhance fertility or to treat symptoms. Rarely, a procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling can be performed in women with very unusual problems.

Surgery is usually the last effort in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and is rarely performed. Doctors usually perform PCOS surgery through laparoscopy. In laparoscopy, your doctor makes several small incisions and uses small instruments in order to target different areas and minimize scarring. During PCOS surgery doctors try to restore normal reproductive functions and at least temporarily restore ovulation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.