Surgery may be performed to remove endometriosis and the scarred tissue around it. Healthy ovaries and normal fallopian tubes are left alone as often as possible to increase the chances of pregnancy later. Surgery is most often done by laparoscopy. Laparoscopy has many benefits over open surgery. It requires a shorter hospital stay, very small incisions, and shorter recovery time. Surgery is often successful, both for treating pain and infertility, but symptoms may return.
Many patients are treated with both surgery and medications to reduce recurrence. Not all conditions can be handled with laparoscopy. Sometimes laparotomy (open operation through a cut in the tummy) may still be needed. When pain is severe and does not go away after therapy and the woman has completed her family, a more extensive surgery may be required. Then the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries may have to be removed. If the ovaries are left in place then the chance of persistent disease is increased with some women needing a further operation to remove the ovaries at a later date. For radical surgery to offer hope of a cure for endometriosis then hysterectomy, the removal of the ovaries and removal of any endometrial growths should be done. Radical surgery should be the ‘last resort’ treatment and not contemplated until all other treatments have been tried or ruled out.
Options include acupuncture, aromatherapy, Chinese herbs, Western Herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, reflexology, naturopathy, Reiki and osteopathy. There are no clinical trials based on the efficacy of complementary therapies as treatments for endometriosis. However, many women do have improvement of their symptoms whilst using such therapies. It is probably wise to seek help from a qualified practitioner and not self medicate.