In terms of the treatment of endometriosis, if the symptoms are mild, the doctor may choose to follow up with periodic examinations, and in cases that are further developed, the doctor may prescribe medication. This type of treatment is usually reserved for patients with dyspareunia or milder pelvic pain.There are a variety of medications a doctor can prescribe to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
Some patients turn to pain medications when they experience menstrual cramps. While these medications can lessen the pain for a short while, it can never entirely go away. Many women might start taking injections instead. This can lead to patients becoming reliant upon pain medications. For women who experience such painful menstrual cramps, it is important not to self-medicate in such a way. Seeking help from specialists and getting tested for endometriosis remains the better option.
If the medication prescribed appears to be ineffective, surgery might be necessary. Laparoscopic excision of endometriosis is a modern surgical procedure which offers smaller incisions, less pain and faster recovery. The patient can receive even more benefits through the evolvement of this new medical technology. Here are three types of laparoscopic surgeries which have been developed throughout the years:
- Conventional laparoscopy – requires two to four incisions on the abdomen
- Single-port laparoscopy – requires special tools and surgeons with expertise. Unlike conventional laparoscopy, the surgery leaves only one scar on the navel. Once the wound from the incision heals, the scar will be rolled and concealed by the belly button, making it no longer visible.
- Laparoscopy using the NOTES technique – requires surgeons with particular expertise and is a procedure which proves less painful than other kinds of laparoscopy. NOTES, or natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, is performed through the birth canal and leaves no scars on the skin. This technique is also used for cyst removal. Learn more about the Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) technique by clicking here.
Surgical treatment is also commonly used by infertile patients with advanced cases of endometriosis. Women who have intractable pain and possess no desire of pregnancy might be in need of definitive surgery, such as hysterectomy or oophorectomy. The doctor will be the one to recommend which treatment is best suited to the patient’s condition.
Medical Treatment vs. Surgical Treatment
- Beneficial for infertility
- Possibly better long-term results
- Definitive diagnosis
- Option for definitive treatment
- Decreased initial cost
- Empiric treatment
- Effective for pain relief
- Adverse effects common
- Unlikely to improve infertility
*Caroline Wellbery, M.D. of Georgetown University School of Medicine
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- Endometriosis. Available from http://www.mayolniorg/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/basics/treatment/con-20013968. Accessed on July 15, 2016.
- Getting Diagnosed with Endometriosis. Available from https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/getting-diagnosed-endometriosis. Accessed on July 15, 2016.
- Endometriosis. Available from http://www.webmd.com/women/endometriosis/endometriosis-exams-and-tests. Accessed on July 15, 2016.