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How successful is surgery for endometriosis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Two types of surgery have proven helpful in the fight against endometriosis. One is a minor surgery in which only displaced endometrial tissue is removed. Another type of surgery involves a hysterectomy in which the uterus, and sometimes the ovaries, are removed entirely.

Surgery for endometriosis with laparoscope or surgical technique for pain control has efficacy equivalent to medication in many studies. Endometriosis is a chronic disease state; it will recur. Until women become menopausal and no longer produce cyclic hormones, namely estrogen, endometriosis can recur and continue to be an issue. The earlier that a woman has surgery for the removal of endometriosis, unfortunately the more likely the disease process is to recur, putting that woman in the situation of needing perhaps multiple surgical procedures.

Dr. Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatrist (Therapist)

Surgery for endometriosis is often very successful in eliminating the pain associated with the scar tissue, and the recovery time is usually quick. Because endometriosis can cause some women to suffer with painful sex, or feel they need to radically adjust their sex life because of the pain, and because it is very commonly contributes to infertility, it is worthwhile to approach your gynecologist if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above. When diagnosed and treated early, a woman has a better chance of conceiving as well as having less anxiety related to her sexual activity.

There are many ways to improve fertility in women who have endometriosis. Most doctors try non-surgical treatments first. If they don't work for you, then surgery (called a laparoscopy) will be done. Research shows it can improve fertility if you have mild to moderate endometriosis. But if your endometriosis is severe, the surgery may or may not help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.