Endometrial tissue is made up of cells that are produced inside the uterus during ovulation. When the tissue builds outside the uterus into other parts of the pelvic area such as the bladder, ovaries, rectum and fallopian tubes, the condition is called endometriosis. During a woman's menstrual period the extra endometrial cells will try to shed through the menstruation process, however because they have grown outside the uterus there is no place for them to go. Instead, the tissue will continue to grow and spread to other locations in the body.
The signs of endometriosis generally appear between 25 and 35 years of age, although the build up of extra tissue may start as early as their first menstrual cycle. Women who are diagnosed with endometriosis cannot only experience severe pain during menstruation, but it can also lead to other complications including a woman’s infertility.
In the past, coagulation, the melting of tissue with a laser, was a surgical technique that was widely used. However through the years, most physicians have discovered that with coagulation, it is harder to control the damage caused by the heat gun on the healthy tissue. This is because the surgeon uses a gun that distributes heat in a wide area slowly, and like sunburn, the extent of the burn may not be apparent for hours or perhaps days. While this is a relatively simple technique the fact that endometriosis often grows on delicate organs such as the bowel, bladder, and ovaries means it is virtually impossible to burn just the right amount of tissue to completely remove the endometriosis without harming the other organs. For these reasons, most surgeons who specialize in the treatment of endometriosis do not consider coagulation as the preferred method for the surgical treatment of endometriosis.
The most effective treatment for endometriosis is removing the excess endometrial tissue or implants in and around the pelvic area. The removal of the excess tissue will help reduce painful symptoms and help boost fertility. One technique that often yields positive results is called excision. Excision is a surgical technique that cuts away endometriosis implants surgically in a way that will not cause damage to the other organs or surrounding tissue. If the implants are still intact after they have been removed, the physician will often send a biopsy to determine if the cells are deemed cancerous. Excision is also a good choice for the removal of large ovarian cysts called endometrioma, or chocolate cysts.
According to Endometriosis.org, clinical trials demonstrated that women that had excision performed on their pelvis had decreased symptoms 12 to 18 months later as opposed to women who used a treatment other than excision.
The goal is to completely eradicate any endometrioma so that pain will decrease dramatically in addition to increasing a woman’s chances of fertility.
Surgery. Endometriosis.org. Updated April 12, 2011. Retrieved Oct. 30, 2011.
Endometriosis. Nlm.nih.gov. Updated July 25, 2011. Retrieved Oct. 30, 2011.
What is Endometriosis? Endofound.org. Retrieved Oct. 30, 2011.