If you have endometriosis, you may have heard of endometriosis surgery. But what different types of surgery are there, what can each involve, and which is right for you? This guide will give you the lowdown.
But first, here’s some background: Endometriosis is when cells that are very similar to the ones usually seen in the uterus grow elsewhere in the body. Common places for these cells to grow include the ovaries, outer uterine walls, and uterine (or fallopian) tubes, but they can also extend farther than that. Their presence can cause severe pain and discomfort because they may bleed and swell, just as the lining inside of your uterus does during a period.
Surgery is just one option for managing the symptoms associated with endometriosis, and here, a Flo expert outlines everything you need to know.
How is endometriosis diagnosed?
As you may already be aware, it can take on average anywhere between eight and 12 years to get an endometriosis diagnosis. This is because symptoms are often dismissed as painful menstrual cramps — something that many people assume it’s “normal” to have to deal with.
Health care providers and patients normalizing complaints and symptoms aren’t the only drivers behind the delay in endometriosis diagnosis. Detecting endometriosis through MRI or ultrasound images requires a doctor with a certain level of expertise, and there is a shortage of people trained in this area, explains Dr. Samir Babayev, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, Minnesota, US. Even if your doctor specializes in endometriosis, it can be really difficult to spot endometriosis using imaging studies.
“This means that often, surgery is the gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis,” says Dr. Babayev. Surgery is the most invasive treatment option for endometriosis, so your doctor will want to ensure you understand what will happen. This can mean that there may be a bit of a delay in treatment.