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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Oct;18(5):789-802.

The role of ovarian surgery in polycystic ovary syndrome.

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  • 1University of Auckland, National Women's Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.


Problems in inducing ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and anovulation are well recognized. In 1935, Stein and Leventhal first described surgical treatment by ovarian wedge resection at laparotomy for women with anovulation and PCOS. Ovarian wedge resection was eventually abandoned because of the significant risk of postsurgical adhesion formation, which resulted in tubal adhesions, and because of the advent of medical ovulation induction with clomiphene and gonadotrophins. However, since the arrival of minimally invasive surgical techniques, laparoscopic ovarian surgery has become feasible. The potential advantages of laparoscopic ovarian surgery include repeated single ovulations and less adhesion formation. Lowered costs make ovarian surgery an attractive alternative to gonadotrophins. However, although many case series have suggested that ovarian surgery is an effective strategy, few randomized, controlled trials have been undertaken comparing the success rates of surgery with gonadotrophins. The long-term concerns with surgery include adhesion formation and premature ovarian failure.

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