The surgical management of endometriosis
Endometriosis can be a debilitating condition that has a profound effect upon the quality of a woman's life causing untold misery and pain over many years. In a hospital based population, the prevalence of endometriosis will vary depending on the type of the population being studied, for example, it is seen more frequently among women being investigated for infertility (21%) than among those undergoing sterilisation (6%). The incidence of endometriosis among those women being investigated for chronic abdominal pain is 15%, while among those undergoing abdominal hysterectomy it can be as high as 25%. Endometriosis as a disease is characterized by the presence of glandular and stromal tissue in areas outside the uterus. It occurs most frequently in the pelvic organs and peritoneum and is prevalent in 2.5-3.3% of women in the reproductive age. The presence and amount of ectopic endometrium does not however necessarily correlate with the patient's symptoms, indeed she may have significant endometriosis and be asymtomatic. Treatment of endometriosis requires the surgical removal of the ectopic endometrial tissue. This is best achieved by laparoscopy. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.