Many women – especially young women – suffer from a pelvic health problem related to the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. McLeod Gynecologist Joycelyn Schindler, MD, explains the problem with its symptoms and treatments, including robotic-assisted surgery.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Schindler’s explanation:
Endometriosis is the phenomenon where endometrial tissue grow outside the uterus. A woman can experience pelvic pain, scarring and, maybe, infertility.
Young women starting their menstrual cycles in their teens and early 20s are the ones most likely to visit my office with complaints of pelvic pain, infertility or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
The nature of endometriosis (being inside the abdomen but outside of the uterus) can create a range of indications — from absolutely no symptoms or pain to pain that changes with your menstrual cycle, outside of menstrual cycles or during physical activity and urination. There’s no association between the amount of scar tissue that happens in your belly to the amount of pain you can feel.
Some theories say a family history endometriosis is more likely to experience the problem. Others believe that a woman with a prior history of abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular periods is at risk. But some women have no personal or family history that to correlates to their problem.
Treatments for endometriosis can include hormones. Or we can perform surgeries to remove the adhesions, eliminating the cause of the pain.
Given the complexity with endometriosis inside of the pelvis, robotic-assisted surgery allows us to remove the growths that may have been much more difficult with straight stick laparoscopy or prevent us from doing abdominal surgery at all.
Robotic-assisted surgery offers the physician the dexterity inside the abdomen to remove adhesions that may we not have been able to extract with traditional laparoscopy. In addition, healing times are improved. Patients have better pain control and, hopefully, an improvement in their overall lifestyle.