What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is when the lining of the uterus implants in other parts of the abdomen and especially in the pelvis. It occurs when the lining escapes through the fallopian tubes during menstruation.
Who treats endometriosis?
This condition is primarily treated by Gynaecologists with a special interest. Colorectal surgeons are involved when the bowel is involved.
When is surgery required?
The commonest reasons for surgery are pain and infertility. The need for surgery is determined by a gynaecologist not colorectal surgeon.
When is rectal surgery required?
The rectum is in the pelvis and is commonly affected by endometriosis. In particular the pouch between the rectum and vagina is involved with endometriosis.
What are the rectal surgical operations?
The operations are varied and determined by the severity. It may range from simple removal of adhesions, removal of nodules, partial or even complete rectal resection. The operations can be minor or very major.
Will I need a stoma bag?
A stoma bag is very rarely required either as part of the original operation or if there is a complication after the operation. It will most likely be a temporary bag. It is important to plan for this even if the chance of needing a stoma is very low.
What are the complications?
The complications are determined by the extent of the surgery. Your gynaecologist will discuss these with you. Specific to colorectal surgery is injury to surrounding structures such as blood vessels and the urinary organs such as bladder or ureter. There is a risk of bowel injury and leakage that sometimes requires reoperation or a stoma bag.
What preparation is required for rectal surgery?
If there is any chance of requiring rectal surgery then we prepare the bowel as we would for colorectal operations.
How will the operation be performed?
The operation is performed mostly laparoscopically (key hole) but often open surgery is required.