Endometriosis is where the tissue that line the uterus known as the endometrium grows in other areas like the ovaries or the fallopian tubes. It is a common reason many women get hysterectomies yet 13 percent of women will see a recurrence of endometriosis after a hysterectomy in three years and that number increases to 40 percent in five years.
There are other alternatives to a hysterectomy for endometriosis, but this typically depends on the severity of the symptoms. For instance, pain can be treated with over the counter prescriptions. Hormone treatment like birth control drugs can affect the amount of estrogen in women but should not be used by women who are trying to get pregnant. Going off treatments usually means the symptoms will return.
Another alternative to a hysterectomy and results in a more long-term treatment for endometriosis that is more conducive for fertility is laparoscopic surgery, which is a minimally invasive approach that will either remove the endometrial growths and scar tissue or burn them away with heat.
If the growths can not be removed this way, surgeons can take a more invasive approach by performing a laparotomy. A laparotomy is an alternative to a hysterectomy, which involves making a larger cut in the abdomen. This requires a much longer recovery period but is still less invasive than hysterectomy and offers a higher chance of fertility.
If you have any questions regarding alternatives to a hysterectomy for endometriosis, please send us a message through the NVSCC, a Las Vegas cancer center, website or call us at 702-739-6467.