YOU’RE NOT ALONE ON THIS ONE! MANY WOMEN ARE IN PAIN WITHOUT REALIZING WHAT THEY ARE SUFFERING FROM. DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS YOUR BODY IS GIVING YOU.
WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS AND ITS SYMPTOMS?
Female pelvic pain is one of the most common gynecologic complaints and unfortunately, one that far too often goes untreated. Endometriosis is the growth of uterine tissue anywhere outside of the uterine cavity, pelvis, or liver. This symptom produces pelvic pain, which is often worse around the time of a woman’s menstrual cycle, during intercourse, with urination or bowel movements, excessive bleeding, infertility and other symptoms. Anyone who has pelvic pain, or any other gynecologic symptoms needs an evaluation and should consult a physician.
AT WHAT AGE ARE WOMEN TYPICALLY DIAGNOSED WITH ENDOMETRIOSIS?
Women are usually diagnosed with endometriosis between the ages of 25 to 35, may be diagnosed younger.
HOW DOES AN OBSTETRICIAN MAKE A DIAGNOSIS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS THROUGH ROBOTIC SURGERY?
A physician or obstetrician can make a diagnosis of endometriosis based on a patient’s medical history and a physical examination. Robotic surgery is important because a diagnosis can only be confirmed surgically through a tissue biopsy using this method. The definitive treatment for endometriosis is a hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. Women who wish to retain their fertility, can be treated by having surgery to remove endometriosis and clean up the surrounding tissue. Both types of surgery can be performed robotically. Choosing robotic surgery significantly reduces recovery time for patients. There are many other gynecological problems that may be corrected using robotic surgery including uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, to name a few.
WHAT CAN PATIENTS EXPECT PREOPERATIVELY?
An evaluation on the patient should include an extensive history; pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound, and other tests, if necessary. The obstetrician will make the determination on whether or not the case can be done robotically. Then, the physician should explain the risks and benefits of the surgery.
WHAT CAN PATIENTS EXPECT POSTOPERATIVELY?
Most patients who have robotic surgery will stay in the hospital overnight and be able to go home the next day. Patients usually tell us that they don’t need pain medications within the first 2-3 days after surgery and many can even start driving the following week. Although each case is different, patients are typically able to return to work in 2-3 weeks after surgery with caution not to perform any heavy lifting.
By DR. SIMON WEISS, PRESTIGE OBGYN ASSOCIATES