Although 10-15% of women live with endometriosis and its painful symptoms, most women are not diagnosed with the disease until they have suffered for eight years or longer. By this time, most women with endometriosis have lost countless nights of sleep, missed days of work and felt the very real impact of the disease on their relationships. Endometriosis causes painful periods, overwhelming cramping, general pelvic sensitivity and bladder and bowel discomfort. In addition to physical symptoms, many women suffer anxiety and depression from endometriosis.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when endometrial cells that normally line your uterus are found in other parts of your abdomen including your fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and bowels. Researchers are still unsure exactly what causes endometriosis, but it is likely that retrograde menstruation the culprit. This just means that period blood is flowing backward into the uterus momentarily, bringing endometrial cells with it. Some other suspected causes of endometriosis include cellular transformation, endometrial cells traveling through the lymphatic system, a compromised immune system, and genetic factors.
Treatment for Endometriosis
Women who are diagnosed with endometriosis have a variety of treatment options to choose from, depending on the severity of their symptoms. Many women choose to start by managing their symptoms with hormonal medications that can regulate their menstrual cycle. For women who have tried hormones without favorable results, excision surgery for endometriosis is a good next option.
Excision Surgery for Endometriosis
Laparoscopic surgery is the only definitive way to diagnose your endometriosis. During this procedure, your surgeon will insert a long tool with a camera through a small incision in your abdomen (your doctor may choose to do two or three incisions). When your surgeon finds the endometriosis in your abdomen, he or she can remove the endometrial cells. This is called laparoscopic endometrial excision.
About 80% of patients say that their endometriosis pain is dramatically reduced following excision surgery for endometriosis. In those women who do respond well to the surgery, it is possible that endometriosis may grow back over time, but this happens in the minority of patients.
Most women find that when they do have these episodes of reoccurrence, the symptoms are much more minimal than they originally were. There are surgical techniques like excising the margins of the areas with endometriosis tissue that can ensure your removal surgery was thorough and prevent regrowth. MIRI’s surgical team stays up-to-date on the latest innovations and methods of endometriosis removal to ensure you will have the best possible outcomes with endometriosis excision surgery.