Endometriosis is one of the most
common diseases of women affecting more than 5.5 million women
in the United States and many more millions around the world.
If you have been diagnosed or suspect that you might have endometriosis,
it is crucial for you to research the disease as much as possible.
For the majority of the patients, management of this disease will
be a long-term process. Therefore, educating yourself and taking
the time to find a gynecologist who is specialized in endometriosis
are two of the most important steps to deal with this chronic
Endometriosis is the occurrence of cells from the lining of the
uterine cavity outside of the uterus. The most common symptoms
of endometriosis are pelvic pain and infertility.
Modes of management of endometriosis include both medical and
surgical treatment. Medical management involves hormone therapy
including birth control pills, GnRH agonists, progestins, Danazol.
If medical management is ineffective then surgical management
is an option. Surgical management involves excising the endometriosis
from the area of involvement. This sometimes includes hysterectomy
and removal of the ovaries, depending on a patient's desire to
retain fertility, patients age, and the degree of involvement
of the organs with endometriosis. If the patient is young and
would like to preserve fertility and excision of endometriosis
does not adequately control the pelvic pain, then another procedure,
presacral neurectomy, is available as an option. This involves
removal of part of the nerve which controls pain sensation in
the pelvic area. Most patients present with symptoms of pelvic
pain, however some patients will present with infertility as their
only symptom. Infertility is usually associated with moderate
to severe endometriosis and distortion of the normal anatomy of
the female organs by the endometriosis and scar tissue. Surgery
in these patients would involve restoration of normal anatomy
and excision of the endometriosis.
Severe endometriosis surgery is very complicated due to the distortion
of the normal anatomy involved, and can be very challenging for
gynecologic surgeons. Extensive experience is required to perform
such procedures, particularly if done with laparoscopy. Chattanooga
Women's Laser Center specializes in laparoscopic treatment of
severe endometriosis. Our physicians have extensive experience
with such laparoscopic procedures and perform hundreds of procedures