Carolinas HealthCare System

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where the glands and tissue that normally are found inside the lining of the uterus, are located outside the uterus. During a woman's menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus thickens as it gets ready to nourish the embryo that will ultimately grow a baby.Endometriosis implant If the woman doesn't get pregnant, the lining will come off causing bleeding and a "period" happens. When some of those cells or tissue travel up through the fallopian tubes and implant on other organs inside the pelvis, that is called endometriosis. During each cycle, the endometriosis implants grow and respond to the hormones just like they were in the uterus. If they implant on the ovary, they can grow to form cysts. This can be very painful around the time of a woman's period.

If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, you should understand the treatment options available. Many patients do very well with medications. However if surgery is indicated, there is debate about whether to burn, laser, cauterize, or surgically remove the endometriosis. Because the depth of endometriosis lesions is difficult to detect, we don't just burn or cauterize the surface. Although surgically removing the implants is more difficult, he believes patients do better if all the endometriosis is removed. This is especially true for patients that have had prior surgery for endometriosis.

Dr. Kevin Stepp is specifically trained in advanced laparoscopy to remove all endometriosis while minimizing risk to the delicate structures of the pelvic anatomy and preserving fertility.

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