When the cells and tissue that normally line the uterus grows outside the uterus, it is a condition called endometriosis. Women with endometriosis can experience a range of symptoms, but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Painful periods
- Pain during intercourse
- Painful urination and bowel movements.
A gynecologist may try to treat endometriosis using pain medications and/or medications to control endometriosis growth. However, sometimes these methods do not work well enough. If that is the case, the gynecologist may recommend a hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus, or another surgery called endometriosis resection. Endometriosis resection is the best choice for a woman who may want to become pregnant some day because her uterus will remain intact after the surgery.
Sometimes endometriosis resection is performed using a large open incision or using laproscopy. Now, however, a minimally invasive surgery called da Vinci is also an option. Da Vinci is a robotic surgery system that uses precise movements and allows a gynecologist or surgeon to operate through a few small incisions versus a large open incision.
Things to Consider
If you need an endometriosis resection, your gynecologist will discuss the benefits of da Vinci surgery in comparison to other surgical approaches. Some of the primary benefits to you as a patient include less blood loss, lower rate of complications and a shorter hospital stay.
For the gynecologist or surgeon, there are benefits as well: the system allows the surgeon a high definition, three-dimensional view of the area and the small surgical instruments can rotate and bend much more than the human hand.
However, like any surgery, da Vinci endometriosis resection also poses risks, and your gynecologist will discuss these with you as well.
About the Surgery
Will you be given general anesthesia to put you to sleep during your procedure are asleep. In order to provide your gynecologist the best view and ample space, gas may be pumped into your belly to inflate it.
Your gynecologist or surgeon will make the incisions and insert a laparoscope and other surgical instruments through them. They will then attaches the laparoscope and the instruments to the da Vinci system robotic arms, then goes to a control area to remotely control the surgery.
After surgery, your gynecologist or surgeon will use stitches to close the incisions, then cover them with dressings.
After the Surgery
After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. After a da Vinci endometriosis resection, most patients stay in the hospital for a few days.
During your hospital stay, your healthcare team will support you and answer your questions as you recover. It’s normal to experience some pain during early recovery and your gynecologist or surgeon can suggest medications if you need them.
At home, follow all of your surgeon's instructions and be sure to keep your incision wounds dry for several days. It’s important to avoid strenuous activity, and heavy lifting for the first few weeks as well.