What is Endometriosis?
The uterus is lined by a tissue called the endometrium, which thickens in preparation for a prospective pregnancy, and breaks down and bleeds as menstrual fluid in the absence of conception. This tissue can become displaced and grow in other places, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or pelvic region leading to a painful disorder called endometriosis.
Causes of Endometriosis
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known, but it is thought to be inherited through genes that run in families. Defects in the immune system, hormonal imbalance, or complications from surgeries can also be causative factors.
Diagnosis of Endometriosis
Your gynecologist will ask you about your general health and symptoms and perform a pelvic examination to feel for the presence of large cysts or scar tissue. An ultrasound scan may also be performed to detect ovarian cysts.
Excision of Endometriosis
Excision (removal) of endometriosis is a surgery indicated for the treatment of recurrent endometriosis where the aim is to preserve fertility. It can be performed minimally invasively through 2 to 3 tiny incisions using a laparoscope, a slender fiber-optic tube with a camera and light source, inserted to provide a clear view of the surgical site. Other surgical instruments are used to carefully cut and remove the implanted endometrial tissue, adhesions and ovarian cysts.
Other surgical options for excision of endometriosis involve:
- Laparotomy or major abdominal surgery: This involves a larger cut in the abdomen which allows the doctor to reach and remove the endometrial growths.
- Hysterectomy: This is the removal of the entire uterus. This procedure is done when there is severe damage to the uterus and the patient does not wish to become pregnant.