The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. When this tissue grows somewhere else in the body it is called endometriosis. These abnormal growths may cause mild to severe pelvic pain, especially during menstruation. Endometriosis may also be associated with infertility.
Endometriosis is one of the most common, benign (non-cancerous) gynecologic conditions.
How is laparoscopic excision of endometriosis performed?
Laparoscopic surgery uses a thin, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope, which is inserted through a small incision at the umbilicus (belly button). The laparoscope is connected to a tiny video camera – smaller than a dime – which projects a view of the operative site onto video monitors located in the operating room. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide, a gas, to allow your Thibodaux Gyn/Ob surgeon a better view of the operative area. Two or three additional small incisions are made near the laparoscope through which the surgeon inserts specialized surgical instruments. Your Thibodaux Gyn/Ob surgeon uses these instruments to remove the endometriosis and scarred tissue around it, while preserving the uterus, tubes, and ovaries. If endometriosis involves the bowel, it can be removed at the same time. Following the procedure, the small incisions are closed with sutures and covered with surgical tape. After a few months, they are barely visible.
What are the benefits of laparoscopic removal of endometriosis?
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Preservation of fertility
- Shorter hospital stay – you may leave the same day or the day after surgery
- Shorter recovery time – days instead of weeks – and quicker return to daily activities, including work
- Avoidance of the side effects often experienced with hormone therapy
- Preservation of ovarian function
- Three or four tiny scars instead of one large abdominal scar
What can I expect after surgery?
Although many people feel better in just a few days, you may need to take it easy for two to four weeks. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions after surgery.
How safe is laparoscopic removal of endometriosis?
If performed by experts in this field, laparoscopic removal of endometriosis is as safe as “open” surgery in carefully selected cases.