What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition in which a tissue similar to the endometrium, for some reason, tries to align itself somewhere beyond the uterus such as the ovaries or the fallopian tubes. In rarer cases, it’s been known to be found on the bladder or bowels. In even more rare cases, they’ve been known to travel throughout the body into the limbs, etc.
Every month the normal tissue builds up, breaks down and sheds into the form of menstrual blood. The displaced endometric growths on the contrary don’t have any such outlet. This results in all sorts of health challenges from internal bleeding to bowel issues. The condition affects 6.3 million girls and women in the U.S. alone. Currently, the causes are still largely inconclusive but there are some theories, such as that some of the menstrual tissue, for some reason, backs itself up before it can be shed out through the menstrual blood.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Endometriosis
Endometriosis usually requires three stages of testing before it can be conclusively diagnosed. The first is a simple clinical examination. The second involves the first stage of the biopsy use of a screen visual through a laparoscopy-a fiber optic instrument that is inserted through the abdominal wall in order to view the organs properly. The final stage is the microscope examination. MRI’s (magnetic resonance imaging) and a CT (computerized tomography) scan may also be included.
Treatments of Endometriosis vary according to how mild or severe your symptoms are.
If your symptoms are mild, simple pain medications may be the answer. However, their effectiveness is still quite limited and often helps to show how the displaced tissue causes pain. The other milder treatment is hormone therapy such as the birth control pill; progestin or progesterone pills, injections or pills. A couple of other forms are medications that temporary halt the release of certain hormones to prevent further growth such as GnRH (Gonadtropin releasing hormone agonists).
Aside from the laparoscopy, two other surgical treatments include the laparotomy and severing of the pelvic nerves. The laparotomy involves the simple removing of the larger endometric patches. In more severe cases, you may need to have a partial or total hysterectomy. However, it’s not a guarantee that the displaced tissue won’t show up again as it’s known to do so in about 15% of women.
Severing the pelvic nerves can be done in two ways-presacral neuroectomy or the LUNA (laparoscopic uterine nerve ablation). The former involves simply severing the nerves connected to the uterus, which tremendously helps to relieve pain. The LUNA, on the contrary, involves severing the nerves connected to the ligaments in the uterus. However, it has been found to be effective at relieving the pain only temporarily.
Dr. Tamer Sekin
Dr. Sekin has over a decade of experience in dealing with endometriosis and their associated conditions such as infertility. As a result, he considered to be a well-regarded expert in the field of endometriosis surgery. He and his staff ensure that you are well-informed on your condition and the treatment procedures that you are about to undergo. He and his staff do everything possible to put an end to your pain once and for all.