Endometriosis Awareness Month: What is it, and how is it treated?

March is endometriosis awareness month. This painful disease affects millions of women around the world, so it’s essential to spread awareness about the condition and how it can be treated.

IML and our manufacturing partners are proud to help surgical teams obtain the innovative medical devices they need to tackle endometriosis, such as surgical lasers. One such partner, DEKA, is a pioneer in the medical laser space. Their premium surgical lasers help thousands of patients worldwide get relief from endometriosis and other conditions.

Everything you need to know about endometriosis

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that can often be painful. It occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus, called endometrium, grows outside the uterus, causing pain and discomfort. Endometriosis affects approximately 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years.

Signs and symptoms of endometriosis

Women with endometriosis may experience the following symptoms:

The severity of the above symptoms can vary widely among individuals. Beyond physical pain, endometriosis can have a significant impact on mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Bindi Irwin on Endometriosis

Bindi Irwin, daughter of famous zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin, is an advocate for endometriosis, having experienced the condition herself and been through surgery for it. A recent article notes that 37 lesions were removed from outside her uterus during her procedure and that surgeons asked her how she was able to live with that much pain. Having dealt with the condition for ten years, Irwin has experienced firsthand the relief from debilitating pain that endometriosis surgery can bring.

Watch below as Bindi shares her story:

Increased awareness is crucial for breaking down the stigma surrounding women’s health issues such as endometriosis. The more people learn about endometriosis and its impact, the more empathy and support can be provided.

We have provided an overview of endometriosis and its symptoms and highlighted the story of Bindi Irwin. Now, let’s discuss some surgical solutions currently used to treat the condition.

Laparoscopic procedures for endometriosis

Laparoscopic surgery, commonly known as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is the gold standard for diagnosing endometriosis. During the procedure, a surgeon visually assesses the extent of endometrial tissue growth outside the uterus. Additionally, laparoscopy allows for simultaneous treatment by removing or destroying endometriotic lesions.

Medical lasers are important tools in endometriosis procedures, helping surgeons with excision, ablation, and other tasks related to extracting lesions. CO2 lasers such as the DEKA SmartXide2 TRIO system provide surgeons with the utmost control and accuracy when conducting endometriosis treatments.

Facts about endometriosis

On average, it takes about 7-10 years for many individuals to receive a proper diagnosis of endometriosis.

This delay is often due to the normalization of menstrual pain and the lack of awareness among both the general public and some healthcare providers.

While endometriosis commonly affects pelvic organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the peritoneum lining the pelvic cavity, it can also occur outside the pelvic region.

Endometriosis has been found in rare cases in areas such as the lungs, diaphragm, and even the brain.

While endometriosis itself is not considered a cancer, some studies suggest a slightly increased risk of certain cancers, such as ovarian cancer, in individuals with endometriosis.

Regular monitoring and discussions with healthcare providers are an important part of managing the condition.

Beyond reproductive health, endometriosis can affect various aspects of daily life, including work, education, and social activities.

Fatigue, chronic pain, and the emotional toll of the condition can lead to disruptions in one’s personal and professional life.

Laparoscopic versus traditional open surgery for endometriosis

When compared to traditional open surgery, laparoscopic procedures use smaller incisions. This approach can reduce postoperative pain, scarring, and overall patient recovery time. The less invasive approach contributes to patients’ quicker return to normal activities.

Additionally, for women struggling with infertility due to endometriosis, laparoscopic surgery has the potential to help improve fertility by removing or reducing the endometrial implants that can obstruct reproductive organs.

Finally, although laparoscopic surgery can provide relief, endometriosis is a chronic condition that may require ongoing management. Collaborating with healthcare providers and adopting a multidisciplinary approach can enhance the overall well-being of individuals with endometriosis.

Spreading awareness about endometriosis

This month, let’s come together to break the silence surrounding this often misunderstood condition and support those affected by it. Here are a few things you can do:

By doing all of the above and more, we can progress toward a world where women with endometriosis can live healthier, more comfortable lives.

Want more information? Here are some resources for endometriosis and other women’s reproductive health conditions:

Are you interested in more articles like this one? Visit the IML blog for additional in-depth articles about the intersection of healthcare, innovation, and technology in America.

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