Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus. This tissue, which normally lines the uterine cavity, is associated with monthly menstruation and is often characterized by abnormally painful and heavy periods, as well as pelvic pain, severe cramps, and pain with sex (dyspareunia). Endometriosis lesions are estrogen-dependent, benign, inflammatory, stem-cell driven, and at times progressive.
Endometriosis affects an estimated 176 million women worldwide . A leading cause of infertility and chronic pelvic pain, it has also been linked to other health concerns, including certain autoimmune diseases and cancers, fibroids, adenomyosis, and interstitial cystitis. It is one of the leading causes for laparoscopic surgery and hysterectomy in the United States. The economic impact of endometriosis is staggering: businesses lose billions of dollars each year in compromised productivity and absenteeism because of the disease.
Where does endometriosis occur in the body?
Typical: Endometriosis typically develops on the pelvic structures including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and bowels (intestines).
Common: It is common for endometriosis to develop on the top of the vagina (anterior cul-de-sac) and in the peritoneal cavity between the rectum and the posterior wall of the uterus (posterior cul-de-sac).
Rare: Endometriosis can spread to the diaphragm, lungs, kidney, appendix, and, surprisingly, the gastrocnemius (calf muscles).
What are the stages of endometriosis?
American Society of Reproductive Medicine Severity Classifications
What are the descriptive classifications of endo?
Because the four stages of the disease do not necessarily have any correlation to a patient’s symptoms or the nature of the infiltration itself, we often use a more descriptive system:
Before pursuing imaging, you should speak with a GYN physician who is familiar with diagnosing endometriosis and can provide a comprehensive pelvic exam. A physical exam and a discussion about your symptoms and medical history will help a physician determine if imaging tests are necessary.
What imaging tests are used to identify endometriosis?
In order to properly diagnose a patient with endometriosis and determine whether surgery is needed, one or both of the following imaging tests must be conducted:
What procedures and tests help definitively diagnose endometriosis during surgery?
In an operating room, a well-trained and experienced GYN surgeon will be able to visualize any anatomical abnormalities or endometriosis lesions through the following procedures:
While a physical exam and other imaging tests can give insight into whether or not a patient may have endometriosis, the only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopic excision surgery. This must be accompanied by a biopsy sample that is sent to pathology in order to confirm a diagnosis of the disease.
There is currently no cure for endometriosis but there are surgical and non-surgical treatment options for pain and infertility caused by the disease.
Non-surgical methods to relieve symptoms:
It is important to note that the following methods are not treatments for the disease itself, but rather control a patient’s pain and symptoms. They provide relief, not treatment.
There are a variety of surgical treatments that a patient can undergo to treat endo depending on the severity, stage, and quantity of the endometrioma lesions.
As a patient, your health and wellbeing come first. With decades of experience, we know that this is the most important aspect in treating the disease. Every patient is different and therefore every patient's unique story and symptoms must be heard.
Menoka M. was experiencing severe pelvic pain for the past seven years and was not diagnosed with endo for nearly five years. After seeing many doctors and having several surgeries, Menoka found us and was soon scheduled for laparoscopic deep excision surgery. Read about Menoka's journey here, as well as how she is doing now.
You can read more stories of patients with endo, of varying stages, in our testimonial section.
Our office is located on 872 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065. You may call us at (646) 960-3080 or have your case reviewed by clicking here.
Dr.Seckin is so much more than a surgeon. His passion for helping endometriosis sufferers and determination to improve the quality of life in all of his patients is undeniable. I remember when my gynecologist first told me I needed a laparoscopy. Her exact words were "I can do the surgery, but if you were MY daughter- I'd send you to…
I was there for hysterectomy but then I found out that I also had endometriosis.My both surgeries went excellent and I feel great!.I am so thankful to Dr.Seckin and all his team for making my journey smooth!
I am a physician who suffered from deep infiltrative endometriosis. I needed laparoscopic surgery, so I went to see my former gynaecologist and he performed the procedure (a surgery which he supposedly does hundreds of times a year) last November. I had severe pain again when I had my period in January and was advised to go on taking a…
After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…
Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…
Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!