Minimally Invasive Surgery for Endometriosis at New York Methodist

Surgery for Endometriosis

Mar 16, 2011

Brooklyn, NY

Photo of Dr. Lewis Copye at his desk

NYM's surgeons are now treating a variety of gynecological conditions with minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures. "Historically, many treatments for women's conditions required major surgery, hospitalization and a lengthy recovery period," said Michael Lewis, M.D., director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at New York Methodist Hospital. "Today, the vast majority of these surgeries, including hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) and myomectomy (removal of fibroids) can be performed using minimally invasive techniques that eliminate the need to make a large incision in the abdomen."

Dr. Lewis, who completed a fellowship in minimally invasive gynecological surgery at Stanford University, specializes in the treatment of endometriosis, a benign condition that can, nevertheless, seriously impact a woman's quality of life.

Affecting approximately 10 percent of women, endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue, normally found in the lining of the uterus and shed during a menstrual period, is found elsewhere in the body. The condition, which can cause pelvic pain, irregular ovulation and abnormal menstrual periods, is associated with infertility. Other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating, irregular bleeding, and fatigue. "Although no medical cure exists for endometriosis, medications and surgery can help lessen its severity, often providing long, if not indefinite periods of relief," said Dr. Lewis.

Doctors initially treat endometriosis with hormones that suppress the growth of abnormal cells, along with alternative remedies, including diet changes. For women whose pain does not respond to medication or for those who are actively trying to conceive, surgery may help. Surgical treatment can be conservative (removing the endometrial and scar tissue) or definitive (removing the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes), using laparoscopic or robotic methods, which are less invasive than traditional surgery.

At New York Methodist, robotic technology using the da Vinci surgical system has revolutionized gynecologic surgery. Robotic-assisted procedures offer surgeons more precision, flexibility, enhanced visualization, and a range of motion that cannot be accomplished with standard laparoscopy. "Benefits of these less invasive approaches include faster recovery, less pain, less scarring, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stays, if hospitalization is required," said Dr. Lewis.

For more information, please call 718-246-8500.