Why Should I See An Endometriosis Surgeon?


It takes a true specialist to accurately identify and meticulously remove all areas of endometriosis from the body.


 

Endometriosis surgery is not a sub-specialty in gynecology and there is no formal accreditation of surgical specialism in treating endometriosis. Endometriosis is a common condition that most OBGYNs treat, along with a whole range of other gynecologic conditions. So, why should endometriosis patients seek out a surgical specialist for their surgery and what exactly is a surgical specialist? While endometriosis is a common disease, affecting some 176 million women worldwide, it is not a simple disease to treat surgically.

What makes endometriosis surgery so demanding?
What is a surgical specialist in endometriosis?
What is the difference between surgery offered by a nonspecialist OBGYN and a surgical specialist?

Nonspecialist OBGYN


Sees patients for a broad range of conditions. Low volume of endometriosis patients and therefore limited experience in recognizing and treating endometriosis.


Due to breadth of practice, reserves limited time for surgical procedures. Limited hours spent performing surgery.


Has completed no or limited further/advanced training in laparoscopy. Has only received basic surgical training in medical school. Is therefore more confident performing laparotomy (open surgery) than laparoscopy.


Due to lack of specialization, primarily relies on techniques to burn the disease superficially, leaving disease untreated or only partially treated.


Higher risk of complications if complex surgery is attempted.


Assisting surgeons may not be on hand to aid with surgery on the bowels, bladder, ureters, and diaphragm leading to incomplete surgery.

 


Works at a hospital with a low volume of endometriosis patients and limited experience in their specific post-operative needs.

Surgical specialist


Focuses on seeing patients with complex gynecologic conditions. High volume of endometriosis patients and therefore extensive experience in recognizing and treating endometriosis.


Due to specialization, spends many hours performing surgery each week, providing ample experience to refine and maintain skill set.


Has completed further training in laparoscopic surgery to develop advanced skills. Is comfortable performing most if not all procedures by laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) instead of laparotomy (open surgery).


Is confident performing wide-excision to remove all areas of disease and uses ablative vaporization in limited situations to preserve vital structures and fertility.


Low complication rate with complex surgery.


An experienced multidisciplinary team is on hand to assist where needed or the surgeon has surgical privileges to independently work on the bowels, urinary tract, and diaphragm.


Works at a hospital that is familiar with the unique post-operative care of endometriosis patients.

How do these differences translate into results?

After many years of doctors telling me there’s nothing wrong, …it’s all in my head, …maybe I should get pregnant… I had given up. I sent my records to Dr. Cook and he could immediately see that endometriosis was missed… During surgery he also diagnosed interstitial cystitis… With out his help, I would be suffering, potentially for the rest of my life.

– Grace



 

References:

1. Pain and Quality of Life Survey, commissioned by the UK Endometriosis All-Party Parliamentary Group and presented at the Ninth World Congress on Endometriosis, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2005.
2. Dr. Cook’s clinical data, 2004-2014.

Summary
Article Name
Why Should I See An Endometriosis Surgeon?
Description
Why Should I See An Endometriosis Surgeon? - It takes a true specialist to accurately identify and meticulously remove all areas of endometriosis.

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Summary
Article Name
Why Should I See An Endometriosis Surgeon?
Description
Why Should I See An Endometriosis Surgeon? - It takes a true specialist to accurately identify and meticulously remove all areas of endometriosis.