MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: why do endometriosis always recurr after surgery?

Date: Fri Nov 30 12:11:19 2001
Posted By: David Mallory, Faculty, Biological Sciences, Marshall University
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1003231626.Me

Endometriosis is a medical condition in which tissues resembling uterine mucosa (the lining of the womb) are found in abnormal places in the pelvic cavity. Other forms of the condition can produce changes in the types of cells found in the muscle layer of the uterus (womb).

There are many different ways to treat this condition, depending upon the physicians assessment of the individual patients needs. Surgery is certainly an option that is used in many patients. There is a common belief that endometriosis will always recur after surgery, however, the data on this do not support that belief. Studies on the recurrence of endometriosis following conservative surgery shows recurrence rate of only about 27%, that is, 1 person will have recurrence of symptoms for every 4 (actually 3.7) people who have the surgery. (see the following web site) question3.html. It is difficult to fully appreciate statistics such as these if you have personal experiences that may contradict the numbers. But remember, large scale studies take the averages of many many surgeries to calculate the averages and an individual might not fit the overall outcome.

The reasons that endometriosis may recur in some patients is probably related to the hormonal condition in that individual , as the condition rarely occurs after menopause or after removal of the ovaries (source of steroid hormones).

I have copied another web site you may find helpful: terms=endometriosis

I hope this helps..

David Mallory, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Marshall University
Huntington, WV

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