Endometriosis is a disease that affects women. It is characterized by a growth of the endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. It is characterized by pelvic pain and infertility. Different treatment options are available, one of which is laparoscopic treatment. For many women diagnosed with endometriosis, a laparoscopic treatment, when performed for the first time, can be successful. However, repeated laparoscopic procedures are not often recommended.
The laparoscopic procedure as a treatment option of endometriosis is widely used. It is a method usually successful when treating mild to moderate cases of endometriosis. It is also used as a diagnosis examination.
When compared to laparotomy, laparoscopic treatment is more convenient. The incision site is smaller and the recovery period is shorter. The incision is made near the navel; two incisions are made. Through these incisions, the laparoscope and other necessary instruments for the procedure are inserted. Laparotomy has a longer recovery period and the incision site is way bigger.
Llaparoscopy is used for two purposes: for diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. Diagnosing endometriosis and the localization of the endometrial tissue outside of the uterus is necessary first, after which this tissue is removed, if possible.
Laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis is usually performed in cases when:
- Treating severe pain that results from endometriosis, as some women experience severe abdominal and pelvic pain that interferes with their daily activities and especially with their sexual life.
- Treating infertility caused by endometriosis. Scar tissues usually caused from endometriosis need to be removed. Sometimes the removal of this scar tissue increases the chances of conceiving, resulting finally in a pregnancy.
- Treating endometrioma, which are known as chocolate cysts, located in the ovaries.
- Treating and removing scar tissue which affects the normal functioning of the other surrounding organs like the bladder, bowels, rectum and other internal organs.
How is Laparoscopy performed?
Laparoscopy is a medical procedure usually performed under general anesthesia. In some cases, it can be performed under spinal or local anesthesia as well.
How long it will take the surgeon to finish the procedure depends from what is actually performed. The laparoscopy, in general, lasts about 45 minutes. However, it all depends if it is done just as a diagnosis procedure or also scar tissue and endometrial tissue are removed at the same time. If diagnosis and treatment are performed at the same time, it is normal that the procedure will last longer.
Tissue is also taken for biopsy, as small lesions are hard to diagnose. Endometriosis lesions when great in size can be seen with a naked eye.
Risks and Complications of Laparoscopic Treatment
Like any other medical procedure, laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis has its risks and possible complications. Any medical procedure and especially surgical procedures will cause a certain level of trauma in the human body.
Risks and possible complications of endometriosis include:
- Pelvic infection
- Bleeding which is sometimes hard to stop and even laparotomy might be needed
- Damage of the internal organs around the pelvis like bowel, urinary bladder, or uterus
- Adhesions after the surgical treatment which make the entire situation worse.
- Laparoscopy is used when diagnosing and treating endometriosis.
- Laparoscopy has a smaller incision and a faster recovery time when compared to laparotomy.
- Complications of laparoscopy include infections, bleeding, the formation of new adhesions, etc.