Endometriosis is one of the most misunderstood (and mistreated) diseases in Gynecology and maybe medicine in general. Our surgical treatment method is complete excision that still, even today, is very unusual. There are fewer than 25 Gynecologists in the US that do extensive excisional surgery for endometriosis. There are many studies that demonstrated an increase in fertility after excisional treatment.
Recurrence: Endometriosis is most likely NOT a recurrent disease. We have re-operated on many patients in the last 20 years for other reasons with rare findings of recurrent disease. Most, >99% of gynecologists in the US, use destructive methods at surgery (cautery and laser) in an attempt to “destroy” visible lesions. In most cases, there are numerous lesions present, making this spot treatment very difficult. Microscopic lesions can be missed, and the tissue changes color with cautery and it is impossible to know if the entire lesion has been destroyed, especially for deeper lesions. With excision, the entire area including all the lesions extending out to normal peritoneum is removed. If lesions are deep, we recognize it as we undermine the peritoneum and can completely remove it. We believe a person gets all the endometriosis they are going to have by the mid teens and from there lesions go through their lifecycle and if removed are gone forever. No new disease is forming. What has been observed though by other physicians over time is recurrent pain in patients with endometriosis and when re-operated after a prior cautery procedure, lesions are seen. We see this also in nearly all patients after cautery and laser procedures and there is disease present but it is obvious that some of the disease has been treated before, just not completely. The appropriate word therefore is persistence not recurrence. We therefore feel that excision is curative for endometriosis. Pain could recur but endometriosis would be an unlikely cause of the problem. Hence pain does not equal endometriosis.
- Extremely painful (or disabling) menstrual cramps; pain may get worse over time
- Chronic pelvic pain (includes lower back pain and pelvic pain)
- Pain during or after sex
- Intestinal pain
- Painful bowel movements or painful urination during menstrual periods
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Premenstrual spotting or bleeding between periods
- Infertility (not being able to get pregnant)