What is endometriosis?
When you have endometriosis, the tissue lining your uterus (endometrium) also grows outside of your uterus. This displaced tissue is most often found growing on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other tissue structures in your pelvic region. It rarely spreads beyond your pelvic organs.
Functioning much like your uterine lining, the tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds during your menstrual cycle. With no way to exit your body, the materials shed from this displaced endometrial tissue during a cycle become trapped in your pelvic region.
This causes inflammation and irritation of the surrounding tissue and can eventually form fibrous bands of scar tissue and adhesions, which may cause your pelvic organs to essentially stick to each other.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Your symptoms may vary, but women with endometriosis typically report generalized pelvic pain and cramping during menstrual cycles that are much worse than usual. These symptoms can increase significantly over time and eventually become quite debilitating.
Other common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pelvic pain and cramping that begins several days before your period and lasts well into your period, sometimes accompanied by lower back and abdominal pain
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Painful urination or pain with bowel movements during your period
- Excessively heavy bleeding during your periods or bleeding between periods
- Unusual fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea during your menstrual periods
What is the treatment for endometriosis?
Dr. Pattamakom may recommend treatment with hormones to slow endometrial tissue growth. She sometimes recommends surgery for severe symptoms, which may include a hysterectomy if you aren’t planning on becoming pregnant.
If you’re planning future pregnancies or a hysterectomy is not necessary, Dr. Pattamakom may suggest minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® surgical system. This innovative technology provides the precision necessary to remove displaced endometrial tissue from delicate pelvic structures.
This procedure requires only a few small incisions through which Dr. Pattamakom inserts specially designed surgical instruments, including a tiny camera that transmits a high definition view of your pelvic region to a monitor in the operating room. Smaller incisions mean faster healing, decreased risk of infection, and less blood loss than what you’d normally experience with traditional open surgery.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, call the clinic today or use their convenient online scheduling service to make an appointment with Dr. Pattamakom.