Laparoscopic surgery is important in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis in our Chicago practice
Endometriosis develops as a result of endometrial cells growing outside of the uterus. Structures that may be affected by these cells include the lining of the abdomen, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. Due to the connection between endometrial cells and estrogen, growth occurs during times of hormonal fluctuation. The result of this growth may be:
- Painful cramping
- Radiating pain from the pelvic area to the rectum, vagina, back, or legs
- Painful urination or bowel movement
- Painful intercourse or pain shortly after intercourse
- Endometriosis may be a factor in infertility
Finding and treating endometriotic lesions with laparoscopy
At Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, in Chicago, patients find the conservative diagnostic and treatment methods they need to resolve the pain of endometriosis. Laparoscopy is crucial to a minimally invasive inspection of internal structures such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surfaces of the bladder and bowel. In addition to facilitating the observation needed to assess endometriosis, laparoscopic surgery can be the path toward treatment of the lesions that are causing the symptoms.
Endometriotic lesions may be:
- Superficial, found in the tissue that lines the abdomen and pelvis.
- Deep, affecting the layers of muscle tissue around the bowel, bladder, or uterus.
- Ovarian endometriosis involves the growth of endometriotic fluid and tissue in the ovaries.
Endometriosis cannot be cured. Therefore, we provide treatment to improve symptoms and preserve fertility. Treating endometriotic lesions during the diagnostic laparoscopic surgery has been found to improve the chances of future pregnancy compared to a diagnostic procedure alone. While symptoms may be helped with non-surgical treatment such as anti-inflammatory medication, this may not improve fertility. To achieve this goal, lesions must be removed or otherwise destroyed.
Excision may be performed during laparoscopic surgery to remove superficial lesions. One of the advantages to this method is that excised tissue can be further examined in a laboratory setting. In terms of improved comfort, ablation of endometriotic lesions has been found as successful as excision.
End the pain of endometriosis with help from one of the best OBGYN teams in Chicago. Call Northwestern Women’s Health Associates at 312-440-9400.