Is Endometriosis Surgery a Major Surgery?

Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Endometriosis Surgery
Endometriosis surgery typically does not cause pain or discomfort because it is done under general anesthesia.

Endometriosis was traditionally treated with open surgery, which requires a significant abdominal incision. Currently, almost all people who need endometriosis surgery can have a laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that only requires minor incisions.

What are the types of endometriosis surgery?

Endometriosis surgery involves the excision of endometriosis.

There are two different methods, which include:

  1. Laparoscopy: The most popular method of endometriosis surgery and is minimally invasive. A laparoscope (a tiny tube with a camera) is used to perform the procedure. A small incision will be made in your abdomen. Sometimes, more than one tiny incision could be required.
  2. Laparotomy: Medical professionals no longer use this open surgery technique as frequently as they did. Laparotomy is a more invasive procedure than laparoscopy. Unlike multiple minor incisions, it only requires one major incision across the abdomen. If your condition is severe or not suitable for laparoscopy, your surgeon may conduct a laparotomy.

Who needs endometriosis surgery?

A healthcare professional can help you determine whether you need endometriosis surgery. 

Surgery might be beneficial if:

  • You have severe or chronic pelvic pain.
  • You must have endometriosis removed from your pelvic area.
  • Your endometriosis symptoms are no longer controlled by medication.
  • You have difficulty getting pregnant.

What should I do to prepare for endometriosis surgery?

You will receive detailed instructions from your healthcare professional to prepare for endometriosis surgery.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Arrange for a reliable friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery
  • Find out from your doctor whether you should stop using medicines, such as blood thinners
  • If you smoke, you should stop three weeks before your endometriosis surgery
  • Keep plenty of water and light foods, such as soup and gelatin in your pantry

What are the steps involved in endometriosis surgery?

Most people will require a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopic endometriosis surgery involves:

  • An anesthesiologist will put you under general anesthesia and monitor your vital signs.
  • Your belly button or another area of your abdomen will receive a minor incision (cut) from a surgeon (in some cases, they might need to make more than one incision).
  • Your stomach will be inflated. Inflating your abdomen makes it easier for the surgeon to see your organs and gives them more space to work. Through the incision, your surgeon will introduce the laparoscope.
  • The laparoscope will be used to locate endometriosis-affected areas.
  • To remove any damaged tissue, they will connect special equipment to the laparoscope.
  • The surgeon will remove the laparoscope and the equipment once the endometrial tissue has been removed.
  • Finally, stitches will be used to close the incisions.


Pelvic Pain: What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain? See Slideshow

What are the possible complications of endometriosis surgery?

Complications after endometriosis surgery are rare.

Endometriosis surgery has the following risks:

  • Damage to internal organs, such as the bladder or intestines
  • Damage to blood vessels or nerves
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Difficulty urinating, which is usually temporary
  • A strange connection between your vagina and another organ, such as your intestines, via a fistula
  • Scar tissue, which may cause stomach discomfort or intestinal obstructions

Is endometriosis surgery safe or intensely painful?

Endometriosis surgery is typically risk-free. However, surgery could not be a complete or long-lasting solution.

Surgery can significantly improve a person’s health and quality of life. Proper post-operative care should be used to:

  • Improve outcomes
  • Ease discomfort
  • Prevent a recurrence

Endometriosis surgery does not hurt or make the person uncomfortable because it is done under general anesthesia, which puts the person to sleep during the procedure.

After having their endometriosis surgically removed, most people notice a significant improvement.

What is the recovery period following endometriosis surgery?

Recovery after abdominal endometriosis surgery usually takes six to eight weeks, but the surgical site usually begins to heal in a week.

Recovery times after a vaginal or laparoscopic procedure are typically shorter and can last two to four weeks. At this time, you should avoid lifting anything heavy, such as large grocery bags.

Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Endometriosis Surgery



Surgery and Endometriosis