Early diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis can significantly help improve symptoms and reduce health and fertility problems. Although no medical cure exists for endometriosis, medications and surgery can help lessen its severity, often providing long, if not indefinite, periods of relief.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
If endometriosis is suspected based on a patient’s symptoms and pelvic exam, imaging such as an ultrasound or MRI may be helpful. This is especially true in cases involving the ovary or larger endometrial implants. However, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy.
Sometimes, a small amount of tissue (called a biopsy) is removed during the procedure, which a pathologist reviews to confirm the diagnosis.
How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?
At NewYork-Presbyterian, treatment for endometriosis is individualized and depends on many factors. These include the severity of the symptoms, the extent of the disease, and the reproductive desires of the patient. Endometriosis treatment options may consist of medical therapies, surgical treatments, and lifestyle recommendations for diet and exercise.
If you have endometriosis and have mild symptoms, your doctor may suggest taking medications:
- Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for mild pain or cramps
- Birth control pills
- Progesterone pills, injection, or intrauterine device (IUD)
- GnRH agonists (Lupron)
- GnRH antagonist (Elagolix)
Endometriosis surgery may be recommended for patients whose symptoms do not respond to medication or those who want a definitive diagnosis. Surgery may also be recommended for deep, infiltrative disease with larger endometriotic implants and involvement of surrounding organs, such as the bowel and bladder.
Types of endometriosis surgery options include:
- Diagnostic laparoscopy
- Excision of abdominal wall endometriosis
- Laparoscopic or robotic ovarian cystectomy
- Laparoscopic or robotic hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- Open surgery (when a minimally invasive approach is not recommended)
At NewYork-Presbyterian, our experienced gynecologic surgeons collaborate with our highly-skilled staff to provide outstanding care before, during, and after surgery.
Long-term endometriosis management
Our team is committed to giving patients with endometriosis comprehensive, ongoing care that will enable them to live their best quality of life. Depending on your individual needs, your long-term care may include periodic checkups to review your symptoms. Your doctor may monitor your endometriosis through abdominal and pelvic examinations.
Endometriosis often improves after menopause when there is a decline in the production of reproductive hormones. However, because the body still produces small amounts of estrogen, some women will continue to have symptoms even after menopause. Our compassionate specialists address each person’s changing needs throughout their lifespan.
Experts in Endometriosis Treatment
The experts at NewYork-Presbyterian offer the highest quality care for patients with endometriosis. They will work closely with you to identify symptoms, which is key to knowing if any medical treatment is necessary. They are trained in the latest and least invasive laparoscopic methods if you require endometriosis surgery. Contact us today to make an appointment.