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Endometriosis Surgery

Endometriosis surgery can help women get pregnant

Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining, which is normally present only inside the uterine cavity, grows outside of the uterus. Although endometriosis is typically a progressive disease, there are effective treatments that can both help with pelvic pain and improve a woman’s chances for getting pregnant. One such treatment offered by our fertility doctors in San Antonio, Dr. Erika Munch and Dr. Susan Hudson, is endometriosis surgery.

Normally, at the end of a menstrual cycle, a woman sheds her uterine lining. The lining cells travel through the cervix, and into the vagina. With endometriosis, cells outside the uterus think they are inside the uterus, but there is no place for them to shed.

We don’t know if endometriosis results from some lining cells traveling backward from the uterus into the abdomen, or if they were always in the abdomen and had different genes turned on to make the cells think they are inside the uterus. Either way, these cells can be attached to the ovaries, the lining of the pelvis, or other abdominal organs, and then begin to grow. They also change in response to cycling hormone levels, which means they can cause inflammation, cysts or adhesions (scar tissue) in and around the pelvis. This can cause pain and/or infertility.

Endometriosis surgery is recommended for women who are trying to conceive

Medications such as birth control and hormonal therapies to suppress the body’s production of estrogen are sometimes used to treat endometriosis. However, these therapies also prevent pregnancy. As a result, Drs. Munch and Hudson, our board certified fertility doctors in San Antonio, will often recommend endometriosis surgery for a woman who is trying to conceive and is affected by endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery

Laparoscopy is the most common type of endometriosis surgery. This minimally invasive surgery is used both to diagnose and treat endometriosis. The surgery involves making two to three tiny incisions in the abdomen. By inserting a small operating telescope called a laparoscope through the navel, Drs. Munch and Hudson can inspect the pelvic region, including the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, for signs of endometriosis in the abdomen.

Endometriosis can also be treated using laparoscopy

If Dr. Munch or Dr. Hudson finds signs of endometriosis, they will use surgical instruments inserted through the incisions to remove or destroy the endometriosis lesions. Our San Antonio fertility doctors are skilled reproductive surgeons and can remove scar tissue caused by the endometriosis at the same time.

Recovery from surgery is quick, and the risk of complications is low

Dr. Munch and Dr. Hudson usually perform this surgery on an outpatient basis. Patients return home on the day of surgery, and most are able to resume their regular activities (including returning to work) within a couple of days.

Surgery may be the first step towards pregnancy for many patients

Patients rated as having minimal endometriosis may be able to get pregnant naturally after surgery, or with more modest fertility treatments. However, patients who have moderate or severe endometriosis may require some assistance with advanced fertility treatments.

Minimally invasive endometriosis surgery will improve the fertility prognosis for almost any woman suffering from endometriosis, increasing the likelihood of successfully experiencing the joy of motherhood.

Read more about endometriosis here. You may also contact Dr. Munch or Dr. Hudson, our caring and compassionate fertility doctors in San Antonio, for a full assessment.