Laparoscopic Surgery For Endometriosis

Silent Suffering

Despite its prevalence, affecting more than 70 million women worldwide, endometriosis remained a relatively silent affliction until recently. The disease gained exposure when two stars of "Dancing With The Stars" talked about their battle with the disease. Most women who suffer with endometriosis are unaware of their situation until they try to become pregnant. Usually, their inability to conceive causes investigation which uncovers the problem. Today, with all of the modern advances in technology, detection and diagnosis, women all over the world over are being treated according to their specific needs.

Radical & Conservative Surgery

Drug treatments, which do not cure endometriosis, are often recommended to stave off the symptoms. Surgical treatment tends to be more effective and now laparoscopic diagnosis is fast becoming the method of detection and treatment for cases that are mild or moderate, when drug treatments have failed, or when there has been a recurrence of the disease. This type of conservative surgery allows for the doctor to destroy endometrial deposits, remove cysts on the ovaries, and divide adhesions while keeping as much healthy tissue as possible. The pelvis can then return to near normal. Radical surgery, which includes the removal of both ovaries, is done in severe cases where the woman has not responded to drug treatment or conservative surgery.

Using A Laparoscope For Diagnosis

To perform the laparoscopic diagnosis and surgery, the laparoscope is inserted through a tiny incision that is made just below the navel. If surgery is to take place at the same time as the diagnosis, another small incision is made to allow for the insertion of the surgical tools. An instrument is attached to a light source and the abdomen is filled with gas to allow for free movement of the scope as well as visual clarity. The physician can then maneuver within the cavity, removing growths and dividing adhesions.

Laparoscopic Surgery

The instrument used to do the actual surgery is a probe through which electric currents pass. The surgeon is able to burn the spots of endometriosis by diathermy. Adhesions that are fine and not too thick can be cut with scissors. Since there is minimal bleeding during this procedure the chance for further adhesions to develop is reduced. There are several benefits to this type of surgery, including a short hospital stay, less pain, and a greater opportunity to conceive a pregnancy. Thirteen percent of women who have undergone laparoscopic treatment for endometriosis have become pregnant.

Success With Some Risk

Laparoscopy is also used to treat more serious cases of endometriosis. This surgery allows for removal of larger cysts from ovaries or, alternatively, a hole can be made in the cysts and the contents can be emptied and destroyed. Pain is reduced when adhesions are divided and endometrial tissue is removed. As with any type of surgical procedure, there are inherent risks involved. Hemorrhage may result from accidental injury to the bowel, bladder or blood vessels when the scope is inserted. If the cysts are large, the risk increases. Some complications are minor; some may require a longer hospital stay.

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