Endometriosis Surgery

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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 debilitating disease.

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 each year.