When you have suffered with pelvic pain and received no answers for an extended period of time, there are several advantages to having a diagnostic laparoscopy. Women who are misdiagnosed can go through several rounds of treatment for the wrong condition, and end up worse off.
Specifically, if the patient has endometriosis, other diagnostic tools like CT, MRI or ultrasound may not be able to detect the condition, or the severity. During a diagnostic laparoscopy, a small thin camera is inserted into the abdomen and the entire pelvis can be inspected. Suspicious lesions can be resected for a diagnosis.
DIAGNOSTIC LAPAROSCOPY FOR ENDOMETRIOSIS
Endometriosis is a unique condition that is hard to manage medically. Medical management includes management of pain with analgesics, as well as hormonal suppression. Medical management is used to treat symptoms, but does nothing to improve fertility, treat adhesions, or resolve endometriomas.
Surgery is the most definitive treatment, and depending on the extent of the surgery, and the patients desire to have children, hysterectomy does not have to be the only option. The diagnostic laparoscopy will be able to determine how far the condition has spread.
Once the endometriosis is identified, a minimally invasive GYN specialist can perform endometriosis resection or excision. Pelvic adhesions, organs sticking together, can result from endometriosis. These adhesions can be painful and may need to be surgically removed with resection as well.
Note that while removing the endometriosis, performing a hysterectomy will remove the uterus, and can often prevent endometriosis from returning. However, if the endometriosis has spread beyond the immediate pelvic area, or if endometriotic lesions or endometriomas are missed, there is a chance that it will continue to spread. Each occurrence must be removed.
Because this is a painful, complicated condition, getting diagnosed and treated by a fellowship trained laparoscopic specialist is important to ensure a complete procedure with a full recovery. For patients who are found NOT to have endometriosis, this may help to avoid a long course of medical therapy directed toward the wrong diagnosis.