“Awake Surgery” for Uterine Polyps Put Caitlin at Ease & On the Path to Pregnancy

Hand of husband embraced the pregnant woman’s belly holding an u

New breakthrough hysteroscopy surgery helps patients remain calm & comfortable while reducing recovery time

Couple looking at ultrasound image of their baby, conceived after successful uterine polyp "awake surgery" | The Fertility Institute of New Orleans | Also in Baton Rouge

Caitlin and her husband had been trying for more than six months to conceive their second child without any success. Their first child, Jack, was also a struggle due to fertility issues. So rather than be discouraged again, they decided it was time to seek help – specifically the expertise of Dr. Warren J. Huber and The Fertility Institute.

Dr. Huber was able to diagnose uterine polyps as the source of her infertility, suggesting surgery to remove them. Uterine polyps are growths that develop in the lining of the uterus called the endometrium.

Also called endometrial polyps, uterine polyps attach to the endometrium and protrude into the uterine cavity. While they are typically asymptomatic, they can interfere with a woman’s ability to get or maintain a pregnancy.

The best method to remove polyps is hysteroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery to evaluate and treat certain conditions. It utilizes a hysteroscope, which is a thin, lighted surgical device inserted through the cervix that allows a surgeon to survey the entire endometrial cavity for polyps. This is the surgery Dr. Huber suggested, but with a twist.

Advanced fertility surgery techniques improve outcomes

The Fertility Institute of New Orleans (FINO) is one of a few practices in the country – and the only clinic in Louisiana – to offer the new Luminelle DTx System, an advanced form of hysteroscopy. It not only provides better visuals for the doctor but also allows the patient to be awake during the surgery, removing risks of anesthesia while reducing recovery time and costs.

“We’ve taken a procedure traditionally performed at a hospital, where patients have to take the day off and go under anesthesia, and placed it in-office, where the procedure takes 10-15 minutes in a familiar setting with no anesthesia,” explains Dr. Huber. “The way insurance works, the hospital procedure will have three fees, but in-office it’s only the procedure fee. It saves patients time and money.”

Caitlin had undergone several other surgeries before that required full anesthesia, so she was very keen on the opportunity Dr. Huber provided.

Fully awake, aware and participating

The procedure itself took less than 20 minutes and was performed at FINO’s office. Having Luminelle, Dr. Huber was able to remove all the uterine polyps and was able to talk with Caitlin during the process.

“I felt very calm and comfortable being awake during this surgery,” notes Caitlin. “I really liked being able to almost be a participant in a way and I was able to see on a monitor what was going on. Having Dr. Huber explain everything that he was doing in real time was great.

“I felt calm, safe and well taken care of throughout the entire procedure,” she adds.

No anesthesia also meant Caitlin was able to walk out of the office, drive home and continue her day as normal, which she says was extremely convenient. So was not having to take any time off work for recovery or take additional medications.

Uterine polyps – removed. Pregnancy test – positive.

Not long after having the polyp removal surgery, Caitlin and her husband discovered that they were pregnant with their second child.

Currently expecting, the couple is keeping the gender a surprise. What’s not a surprise is the role that the surgery and Dr. Huber played in their success.

“I felt very calm and comfortable having Dr. Huber be the one who performed my surgery because he knew my medical history and understood what my fertility goals were,” says Caitlin. “The surgery was an integral factor in helping me get pregnant.”