From laparotomy to laparoscopy to in vitro fertilization

Therapeutic responses to impaired fertility have evolved dramatically over the last four decades. Our current minimally invasive approaches have arisen from the principles initially applied to tubal microsurgery.
From laparotomy to laparoscopy to in vitro fertilization

Volume 112, Issue 2, Pages 183–196


Victor Gomel, M.D.


Before the modern era of in vitro fertilization, reproductive surgery to deal with pelvic disease was the key intervention in the management of infertility. A series of clinical observations and animal experiments led to the development of microsurgical principles, which were applicable to all forms of gynecologic surgery. The evolution of endoscopy permitted minimally invasive approaches to most pelvic pathology. Assisted reproductive techniques now have primacy in the management of infertility, but women deserve to have fertility-enhancing or fertility-sparing surgery performed by a surgeon with relevant training. Thus, we have an obligation to maintain formal training programs in reproductive surgery.

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