Endometriosis Excision Specialist in San Francisco Bay Area, California
Endometriosis treatment depends on the extent of disease, severity of symptoms, and desire for fertility.
FOR WOMEN WITH MILD SYMPTOMS
If you have mild symptoms and do not ever want to have your own biological children (which we mention due to the risk of infertility if left untreated), you may choose to have more limited medical interventions. Instead, an expectant approach could be taken, which would include regular exams so that your doctor can monitor the disease and make sure it isn’t getting worse or causing asymptomatic damage, such as silent loss of kidney function.
As mentioned, there is no absolute medical cure for endometriosis. However, for mild symptoms, the following alternative therapies and/or over-the-counter pain medication may be helpful for some women:
Exercise and relaxation techniques
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen, (Advil), or prescription painkillers to relieve cramping and pain
FOR MORE SERIOUS SYMPTOMS
For women who experience more severe symptoms, treatment options can include:
Prescription medications to control pain
Hormone medications to possibly stop endometriosis from getting worse
Surgery to remove the endometriosis lesions/nodules/cysts/adhesions
Surgery to remove the entire uterus while sparing ovaries & fallopian tubes
Surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the ovaries & fallopian tubes
SURGERY RECOGNIZED AS MOST EFFECTIVE
Although medications may help alleviate some pain, both over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers can cause fairly serious side effects and they do not stop the progression of endometriosis. Similarly, hormone treatments can cause side effects not only with serious, long-term consequences, but which, in any case, many patients find intolerable.
Given such drawbacks, most now recognize that the most effective treatment for endometriosis is surgical eradication (excision/removal) of the disease, with minimally invasive surgery considered the standard of care. Not only is this the conclusion of experts from the National Institutes of Health and ACOG, but it’s also based on several well-designed studies which have shown that, regardless of stage, surgical treatment of endometriosis is far superior to the use of medications when comparing relief of pain symptoms and fertility outcomes. Studies have even shown that women with failed infertility treatments, like IVF and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), secondary to endometriosis, have a better chance of getting pregnant following surgery performed by an experienced specialist.
Even extensive disease involving the bowel, bladder, ureters, diaphragm, chest, and lungs can be treated using the minimally invasive technique of videolaparoscopy. In fact, Dr. Camran Nezhat not only is the inventor of videolaparoscopy, but was the first in the world to completely treat severe, stage IV, extra-genital endometriosis in a completely videolaparoscopic way.
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