Advanced Expertise in Endometriosis Treatment
As a nationally ranked leader in gynecology, University Hospitals has endometriosis specialists who offer advanced expertise and individualized care for patients who suffer from endometriosis.
Our team can diagnose and treat all endometriosis stages to relieve pelvic pain discomfort and help women trying to get pregnant. Using advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures, our fellowship-trained gynecologic surgeons can treat even the most complex endometriosis cases.
The Endometriosis Center focuses on individualized care plans for endometriosis patients. With a multidisciplinary approach to helping patients with endometriosis, we provide expert, evidence-based care.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is one of the main causes of pelvic pain in women. Since it is challenging to diagnose, women may go for several years without an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Normally, tissue that lines the uterus, called the endometrium lining, is shed each month during a woman’s period. With endometriosis, tissue that is similar to the uterine lining implants outside the uterus. Each month, this misplaced endometrial tissue responds to the hormonal menstrual cycle. It builds up, breaks down and bleeds. But, because the blood has nowhere to go, surrounding tissue becomes inflamed or swollen. Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue, chronic pain or heavy periods – and can cause infertility.
Endometriosis is most common in women ages 25 to 40. Every woman may experience symptoms differently, but these are the most common symptoms of endometriosis:
- Severe cramps and period pain
- Pain during sex
- Painful bowel movements
- Pain with urination
- Heavy periods
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, constipation or nausea
Pain levels are not always related to the severity of endometriosis. Sometimes, women with severe endometriosis may not have pain. Other women with a milder form of the disease may have severe pain, heavy bleeding or other endometriosis symptoms.
Endometriosis Treatment Options
Treatment for endometriosis depends on the extent of the disease, symptoms, and whether a woman wants to have children. Treatment options for endometriosis may include medication, surgery or both. When pain is the primary problem, medication is usually the first line of therapy.
Our endometriosis specialists manage this condition with medications, including hormone suppressants that suppress ovulation and make menstrual periods lighter and shorter. For more advanced stage endometriosis, minimally invasive surgical procedures may be necessary.
Other treatments for endometriosis pain may include acupuncture, massage, nutritional support and pelvic floor physical therapy.
Robotic Surgery for Endometriosis
UH offers robotic surgery using the da Vinci surgical system as an option for treating endometriosis. This sophisticated surgical system uses an advanced set of surgical tools that the surgeon manipulates during the procedure. These tools allow more precision and better range of motion that traditional surgical instruments. The system also gives surgeons a 3-D view for better visualization of the surgical area. Gynecologic surgeons at UH use da Vinci to excise endometriosis while preserving the uterus. Endometriosis can also be treated with a robotic hysterectomy to remove the uterus. There are many advantages that da Vinci robotic surgery has over open endometrial surgical techniques. Robotic surgery uses small incisions, which can mean less blood loss, lower risk of infection or complications, and less scarring. Patients may also experience shorter hospitals stays, faster recovery and better outcomes with da Vinci robotic surgery.
A Comprehensive Approach to Endometriosis Care
University Hospitals has established the multidisciplinary Endometriosis Center that serves as a resource for diagnosis, treatment and clinical research.
Your initial appointment involves getting a detailed medical history and performing a general physical and pelvic exam. From there, physicians can determine referral sources to support your overall care.
The Endometriosis Center guides patients through the endometriosis treatment process by offering preoperative imaging services and collaborative care from pelvic floor physical therapists, urogynecologists, colorectal surgeons, reproductive endocrinologists, behavioral medicine specialists and nutritionists.
Patients also have access to the latest clinical trials and therapies, support groups, educational resources and holistic therapies, such as acupuncture and massage.
Learn More about Endometriosis Treatment Options
For expert endometriosis care, please schedule an appointment with one of our team members.