Surgery

Surgery can be used to remove or destroy areas of endometriosis tissue, which can help improve symptoms and fertility.

Any surgical procedure carries risks, the laparoscopy leaflet available in the patient resource section provides details of these risks and your surgeon will discuss them at your appointment.

 

Laparoscopic surgery

During a laparoscopy (a surgical procedure to gain access to the inside of your pelvis), endometriosis tissue can be destroyed or cut out using delicate instruments that are inserted into the body. This is also known as keyhole surgery.

Laparoscopy is now commonly used to diagnose and treat endometriosis. All grades of endometriosis can be successfully treated with this minimally invasive technique (where only small cuts are needed to insert the instruments). Heat, a laser or an electric current may be applied to destroy the patches of tissue.

Ovarian cysts or Endometriomas (chocolate cysts), which are formed as a result of endometriosis, can also be easily treated using this technique, which can be used alongside medication such as GnRH analogues.

Although this kind of surgery can relieve your symptoms, they can sometimes recur, especially if some endometriosis tissue is left behind at the time of surgery.

 

Hysterectomy

If keyhole surgery and other treatments have not worked and you have decided not to have any more children, a hysterectomy (removal of the womb) can be an option. However, this is rarely required.

A hysterectomy is a major operation that will have a significant impact on your body. Deciding to have a hysterectomy is a big decision, which you should discuss with your GP or gynaecologist. Hysterectomies cannot be reversed and there is no guarantee that the endometriosis will not return after the operation.

If the ovaries are left in place, the endometriosis is more likely to return.

If the ovaries are removed you may need to take HRT (hormone replacement therapy) following your operation