Laparoscopic Surgery for Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from inside the uterus implants outside the uterus. Endometriosis tissue is frequently located close to the ovaries (where eggs are made), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs to the uterus), on the peritoneum (the inside lining of the abdomen or belly), or on other organs. It can be associated with the inability to get pregnant, abnormal bleeding, and pelvic pain (with or without periods, sexual intercourse, bowel movements or urination). It can also show up as a type of cyst on the ovary called an endometrioma or “chocolate cyst.”
Endometriosis is found by surgical intervention, examination (biopsy), and removal of the suspected tissue. A laparoscopy is the best approach for this purpose. Small incisions are made in the abdomen under general anesthesia and gas is used to stretch the abdomen. A camera or laparoscope is used to look directly at the pelvis and special instruments are used to remove any endometriosis tissue. It is important to have a complete discussion with your doctor before surgery. Because it is so difficult, this procedure requires a surgeon with specialized training in endometriosis surgery.
What is this procedure used for?
Some reasons to consider surgery in patients with
suspected endometriosis are:
The goals for endometriosis surgery are to:
Different surgical procedures can be offered for endometriosis. These include:
What are the risks of this procedure?
Every surgery has a small risk or possibility of having complications. Laparoscopy is generally safer than open abdominal surgery. A gynecologist who is experienced with treating endometriosis is less likely to have serious complications in patients. Some of the risks associated with endometriosis surgery include:
What should I expect after surgery?
With a laparoscopic or robotic approach there is less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery when compared with open abdominal surgery. Everyone recovers at a different pace after surgery. Many patients are able to get back to most of their usual activities by 1-2 weeks after surgery. Common symptoms after a laparoscopy include:
>When should I call my doctor?
Most women make a full recovery after endometriosis surgery. Call your doctor if you experience the following symptoms: