Treatment Of Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. The lining of your uterus is called the endometrium.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial-like tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. It’s unusual for endometrial tissue to spread beyond your pelvic region, but it’s not impossible. Endometrial tissue growing outside of your uterus is known as an endometrial implant.
The hormonal changes of your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, causing the area to become inflamed and painful. This means the tissue will grow, thicken, and break down. Over time, the tissue that has broken down has nowhere to go and becomes trapped in your pelvis.
This tissue trapped in your pelvis can cause:
- scar formation
- adhesions, in which tissue binds your pelvic organs together
- severe pain during your periods
- fertility problems
Conservative surgery is for women who want to get pregnant or experience severe pain and for whom hormonal treatments aren’t working. The goal of conservative surgery is to remove or destroy endometrial growths without damaging the reproductive organs. Laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery, is used to both visualize and diagnose, endometriosis. It is also used to remove the endometrial tissue. A surgeon makes small incisions in the abdomen to surgically remove the growths or to burn or vaporize them. Lasers are commonly used these days as a way to destroy this “out of place” tissue.
Last-resort surgery (hysterectomy)
Rarely, your doctor may recommend a total hysterectomy as a last resort if your condition doesn’t improve with other treatments. During a total hysterectomy, a surgeon removes the uterus and cervix. They also remove the ovaries because these organs make estrogen, and estrogen causes the growth of endometrial tissue. Additionally, the surgeon removes visible implant lesions. A hysterectomy is not usually considered a treatment or cure for endometriosis. You’ll be unable to get pregnant after a hysterectomy. Get a second opinion before agreeing to surgery if you’re thinking about starting a family.