Laparoscopic Surgery for Endometriosis
Laparoscopy is the most common procedure used to diagnose and remove mild to moderate endometriosis. Instead of using a large abdominal incision, the surgeon inserts a lighted viewing instrument called a laparoscope through a small incision. If the surgeon needs better access, he or she makes one or two more small incisions for inserting other surgical instruments.
If your doctor recommends a laparoscopy, it will be to:
- View the internal organs to look for signs of endometriosis and other possible problems. This is the only way that endometriosis can be diagnosed with certainty. But a “no endometriosis” diagnosis is never certain. Growths (implants) can be tiny or hidden from the surgeon’s view.
- Remove any visible endometriosis implants and scar tissue that may be causing pain or infertility. If an endometriosis cyst is found growing on an ovary (endometrioma), it is likely to be removed.
The most challenging surgery by laparoscopy or by laparotomy (traditional abdominal surgery, which requires a larger incision) is the management of advanced endometriosis within the pelvic cavity and the rectum and vagina. Several studies have reported pregnancy rates over 2 years of 50% to 60% of cases treated with surgery. According to several reports, endometriosis may recur in 20% of the cases.
Laparoscopy is effective in relieving pain and improving fertility. Endometriosis recurs in about 20% to 30% of cases over 5 years in both (Laparoscopic & open) procedures. Patients who undergo laparoscopy, however, experience a more rapid and less painful recovery.