Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrium) grows in other areas of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding, and possible infertility. The tissue growth typically occurs in the pelvic area, outside of the uterus, on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, bladder, and the delicate lining of the pelvis.
Endometriosis is a common problem and occurs in an estimated 10% of women during their reproductive years. The rate may be as high as 35% among infertile women. Although endometriosis is typically diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 35, the problem probably begins about the time that regular menstruation begins.
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. However, there are a number of theories. One suggests that the endometrial cells (loosened during menstruation) may "back up" through the fallopian tubes into the pelvis, where they implant themselves and grow in the pelvic or abdominal cavities. This is called retrograde-menstruation.
Other theories include:
- A faulty immune system causes menstrual tissue to implant and grow in areas other than the uterine lining.
- Cells lining the abdominal cavity may spontaneously develop endometriosis.
- Certain families may have genetic factors that make a woman more prone to endometriosis
Signs and Symptoms
- Increasingly painful periods
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic cramps that can by felt for a week or two before menstruation
- Lower abdominal pain felt during menstruation (the pain and cramps may be steady and dull or quite severe)
- Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
- Pain during or following sexual intercourse
- Pain with bowel movements
- Premenstrual spotting
Note: Frequently, symptoms may not be present. In fact, some women with severe cases of endometriosis have no pain at all, while some women with only a few small implants have severe pain.
Robotic Treatment for Endometriosis
A minimally invasive robotic hysterectomy is one of the most effective ways to treat women with severe cases of endometriosis. Dr. Advincula and his skilled surgical team utilize the da Vinci® robot to perform this highly precise procedure. The minimally invasive nature of a robotic hysterectomy allows patients quicker recovery times with fewer complications when compared to conventional open or laparoscopic surgery.
For more benign gynecological information and candidacy requirements for robotic surgery, including robotic hysterectomy, contact Florida Hospital today on 407-303-4573.