Novel Laser Surgery Gives New Hope to Endometriosis Patients
July 24, 2022 – Endometriosis can cause severe pain during a woman’s menstrual cycle and even affect fertility. When necessary, lesions caused by it can be surgically removed. Rambam Health Care Campus is using novel laser surgery to remove endometrial lesions and reduce the tissue damage that leads to impaired fertility.
One out of every 10 women suffer from endometriosis, a chronic gynecological condition that causes pain — sometimes severe — especially during menstruation. The condition’s most serious complication is impaired fertility. Endometriosis was not recognized as a chronic condition in Israel until just one year ago, when Israel’s Ministry of Health finally recognized it as such.
Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecological condition in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus – known as the endometrium – grows outside of it, affecting the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue lining the pelvis. The primary symptom for this condition is pelvic and abdominal pain.
One in 10 women in their child-bearing years suffer from endometriosis, but the condition can take a decade or more to diagnose. As time passes, the surrounding tissues become irritated and eventually develop scar tissue and lesions. The symptoms can worsen, leading to excessive menstrual bleeding, painful sexual intercourse, digestive issues, chronic tiredness, and difficulties during pregnancy.
Treatment is usually focused on limiting the patient’s symptom with pain relievers and hormones to improve their quality of life. In extreme cases, surgery is required. These treatments however, have a limited effect; symptoms can recur and the condition may spread.
Gynecological surgeons at Rambam HCC are using a new technology that appears to be more effective than standard surgical procedure. In recent months, 15 endometriosis patients have been treated with this new methodology – laparoscopic laser surgery. Laser surgery “burns” away the endometrial lesions and fibroid tumors caused by endometriosis, without damaging the surrounding tissues, which can happen during standard surgery that cuts away the lesions.
Dr. Yuri Paz, Director of Rambam’s Gynecology and Endoscopic Surgery Unit explains: “Every time cysts are surgically removed, the surrounding, healthy tissue could be damaged, which can cause fertility-related complications. Minimizing tissue damage during surgery protects the patient’s ovaries, ovarian reserves, and her general well-being. Standard surgical practice involves physical removal of the endometrial tissue. However, laser surgery burns away the endometrial tissue, thereby minimizing the risk of damage to the surrounding tissue.”
In the photograph: Dr. Yuri Paz, Director, Gynecology and Endoscopic Surgery Unit at Rambam HCC.
Photography courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus