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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2008 August;60(4):323-30

language: English

Laparoscopic surgery in endometriosis

Eltabbakh G. H. 1, Bower N. A. 2

1 Lake Champlain Gynecologic Oncology, South Burlington, Vermont, USA
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology South Burlington, Vermont, USA


Endometriosis (the presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside of the uterine cavity) is a common gynecologic problem affecting 10% of women in the general population, 40% of women with infertility and 60% of women with chronic pelvic pain. Laparoscopy has revolutionized management of women with endometriosis. Diagnosis of endometriosis depends on visualization of endometriotic lesions and histologic confirmation. Endometriotic implants have a multitude of appearances: powder burns, red, blue-black, yellow, white, clear vesicular and peritoneal windows. Diagnostic laparoscopy is often combined with operative procedures to treat manifestations and symptoms of endometriosis. This often includes removal or laser vaporization of endometriotic implants, lysis of adhesions, restoration of normal anatomy and removal or fulguration of ovarian endometriomas (conservative surgery). Severe incapacitating endometriosis, recurrent endometriosis following conservative surgery and symptomatic endometriosis in women not desiring more children is often treated by laparoscopic unilateral or bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy or laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (radical surgery). Endometriosis affecting the appendix, ureters, bladder wall and rectosigmoid colon could be treated with laparoscopic appendectomy, excision of endometriotic implants or laparoscopic colectomy and anastomosis, respectively. Hydrodis-section and use of CO2 super pulsed laser aid in removal of adherent endomeriotic implants without damage to normal underlying structures. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery promises to provide advantages in the management of women with severe endometriosis secondary to 3-dimensional visualization, decreasing surgeon’s fatigue and hand tremors and improving surgical precision.

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