Are you one of the more than 200 million women diagnosed with endometriosis? If so, you know that this condition, which causes the lining of your uterus to grow outside the womb and develop into scar tissue or lesions, can trigger severe pain, heavy periods, and infertility.
While there is no cure for endometriosis, the good news is there are many therapies that can help alleviate your symptoms. Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, and the care team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, have experience diagnosing and treating women struggling with the effects of endometriosis.
If you have endometriosis, you may have heard about minimally invasive surgery that could help. Here’s a closer look at what’s involved with endometrial surgery and whether it could help you.
Is surgery my only option for treating endometriosis?
No! In fact, endometrial surgery is typically used only as a last resort for women with severe cases or who are struggling with infertility. Generally, Rickie begins treatment using the most conservative approach, adding on treatments or opting for less conservative modalities as needed.
In addition to surgery, other treatment options for endometriosis include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Hormonal birth control pills
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormones
- Extended-cycle birth control (e.g., birth control shot)
- Endometrial ablation
Before recommending any treatment, Rickie evaluates your symptoms, performs a physical exam, and orders any additional testing needed. With this information in hand, Rickie creates a personalized endometriosis treatment plan that meets your needs.
What is surgery for endometriosis?
The most common type of endometrial surgery is minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. During this procedure, which is typically performed under general anesthesia, your surgeon inserts a special tool, called a laparoscope into your abdomen through small incisions.
The laparoscope allows your surgeon to see inside your body to look for endometrial scar tissue. If this tissue needs to be removed, the surgeon cuts and removes it or destroys it using an electrical current or laser.
If your family is complete or you don’t wish to have children, your provider may recommend another kind of surgery, called a hysterectomy, to remove your uterus. However, this procedure is typically used as a last resort.
Does surgery help end endometriosis?
If you have a hysterectomy, you will not suffer from endometriosis any longer since the procedure removes your womb. Other endometrial surgeries work well to provide some pain relief and improved fertility.
However, it’s important to note that these procedures are considered short-term solutions. Over time, up to 80% of women begin to experience pain and other symptoms within two years of surgery. You can extend your results by taking other medications, like hormonal birth control, after your surgery.
Contact Rickie and the team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, to schedule an appointment if you want to learn more about treating endometriosis. Reach us at 303-797-9199 or book a consultation online at your convenience.