Endometriosis is a common and typically painful disorder that affects 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years.
Tissue that would normally line the inside the uterus instead grows outside of the uterus, most often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the pelvic lining. This can cause extreme pelvic pain, particularly during your period, that's far beyond normal menstrual cramps.
Over time, endometriosis causes lesions on the tissue that forms outside of the uterus. This can result in intense and frequent pain, and can even make it difficult to become pregnant. In such cases, removal of the lesions can help lessen symptoms, but until recently the only way to remove the lesions was to perform a hysterectomy, which would involve:
- One large 10" to 12" incision
- 3-5 day hospital stay
- 6-8 week recovery time
Now with robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery, lesions can be removed without harming the uterus. For this reason, laparoscopic endometriosis excision is ideal for women still in their childbearing years. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston offers minimally invasive removal of endometriosis lesions with the da Vinci® Surgical System, which has been used in more than a million minimally invasive procedures throughout the world, and has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective form of surgery.
It's important to note that this procedure does not cure endometriosis, but it has been shown to reduce pain and increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant in about 80 percent of women, for a time period of two years, on average.
Minimally Invasive Procedure
Laparoscopic endometriosis excision allows for the removal of lesions without removing or harming the uterus. During the procedure, small incisions are made in the lower abdomen, allowing access to the pelvis. Another small incision is made in the navel and a tiny camera called a laparoscope is inserted. Surgical tools are inserted into the abdominal incisions and are attached to robotic arms that are controlled by the surgeon. The surgeon then cuts out and removes any visible lesions.
In some cases of extensive endometriosis, scar tissue may inhibit the removal of all lesions. However, the removal of some or most lesions can greatly reduce the pain associated with endometriosis.
In contrast to a hysterectomy, robotic-assisted laparoscopic endometriosis excision involves:
- Up to five small, 8-12mm incisions
- Outpatient stay
- 2-4 week recovery time
As with all surgeries, there are some risks associated with laparoscopic endometriosis excision, but the likelihood of any complications is lower as compared to an open surgery hysterectomy.
If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and are interested in learning more about the removal of lesions via robotic-assisted laparoscopic endometriosis excision, the experts at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic can help.