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What is endometriosis?
Women who have endometriosis develop endometrial tissue outside of the uterus (this tissue is normally inside the uterus). The tissue still responds to the regular hormonal cycle of the female body by building up and breaking down with the menstrual cycle, resulting in internal bleeding, inflammation, cysts and scar tissue. The endometriosis scar tissue may also cause blockage in the pelvic area and organs, resulting in infertility or difficulty getting pregnant.
The most common endometriosis symptoms are:
How is endometriosis related to infertility?
One study showed that between 20 percent and 40 percent of women who have fertility issues also have endometriosis. While endometriosis is considered one of the three major causes of female infertility, physicians are still not clear how endometriosis affects fertility.
Who is at risk for developing endometriosis?
While any woman may develop endometriosis, the following women seem to be at an increased risk for the disease:
Surgical treatment options for endometriosis depend on your diagnosis; however, there are two main options:
Precise Surgery Means Fewer Fertility Complications
Robotic-assisted surgery for endometriosis is especially promising for women who would like to have children in the future. Regardless of the location of the endometriosis, the surgeon is able to make small precise movements to remove the tissue, preserving the delicate structures of the pelvis and decreasing the chance of future complications. Robotic-assisted surgery also allows the surgeon better visualization of the anatomy, which is especially helpful with surgery for endometriosis.
Minimally Invasive Robotic-Assisted Surgery
Robotic-assisted surgery is minimally invasive. This means that, instead of a traditional “open” surgery, there are several small incisions made in the abdomen. This is beneficial because the small incisions allow for a much shorter recovery time.
With robotic-assisted surgery, you can benefit from the following:
The surgeon rests his or her hands on the robot's controls and is in control of the robot's movements at all times. The console controls the small instruments that have been inserted through the incisions in the abdomen. Your surgeon and surgical assistant are at your side at all times.
Attend a Free Seminar
Sharp offers free in-person and physician-led seminars about minimally invasive gynecologic surgery throughout San Diego. Attend a seminar at the hospital where you'd prefer to have your surgery: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. To register, go to gynecologic surgery seminar.
How to Choose a da Vinci Surgeon at Sharp
Sharp HealthCare offers da Vinci® robotic surgery at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, located in South County, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, located in East County, and Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, located in central San Diego.
To learn more about Sharp's robotic surgery services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
For More Information
To learn more, attend a robotic gynecologic surgery seminar, read the frequently asked questions about robotic gynecology surgery and visit the Endometriosis page in our Adult Health Library.