Learn about endometriosis surgery and understand your options
Take care of you
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) migrates outside the uterus, usually to the area around your reproductive organs, including the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Many women with endometriosis have no symptoms. Although for some women, endometrial tissue patches may swell and bleed with their menstrual cycles, which can cause pain. Endometriosis symptoms may include chronic pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain during sex, pain with bowel movements or urination, and fertility issues.1
To diagnose endometriosis, doctors may perform a pelvic exam. However, the only way your doctor can provide a definite endometriosis diagnosis is by performing surgery to locate endometrial patches outside the uterus. Rather than put you through multiple surgeries, your surgeon may remove any endometriosis patches he or she finds while performing diagnostic endometriosis surgery.2
Understanding your options
Your doctor may recommend medication, surgery or both for your endometriosis.1 If you and your doctor decide surgery is right for you, your surgeon will find and remove endometrial patches on and around your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, intestines, and abdomen.
Surgeons can perform endometriosis surgery using traditional open surgery, which requires a long incision (cut) through your abdominal muscles, or through minimally invasive surgery.
There are two minimally invasive approaches: laparoscopic surgery and robotic-assisted surgery (possibly with da Vinci technology). Both are performed through a few small incisions in the abdomen. To perform a laparoscopic endometriosis procedure, surgeons use special long-handled tools while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.
How the da Vinci system works
Surgeons can perform robotic-assisted endometriosis surgeries using da Vinci technology. During edometriosis surgery with a da Vinci system, your surgeon sits at a console next to you and operates using tiny, fully wristed instruments.
A camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view inside your body. Every hand movement your surgeon makes is translated by the da Vinci system in real time to bend and rotate the instruments with precision.
It’s important to remember that Intuitive does not provide medical advice. After discussing all options with your doctor, only you and your doctor can determine whether surgery with da Vinci technology is appropriate for your situation. You should always ask your surgeon about his or her training, experience, and patient outcomes.
What are the outcomes of surgery with the da Vinci system?
Be sure to talk with your surgeon about the surgical outcomes he or she delivers by using the da Vinci system, as every surgeon's experience is different. For example, ask about:
- Length of hospital stay
- Complication rate
- Rate of returning to the hospital within 30 days of surgery
- Reoperation rate
- Transfusion and/or blood loss
- Chance of changing to an open procedure
- Length of operation
- Mortality rate
- Chance of injury to ureter or colon
There are additional outcomes of surgery that you may want to talk with your doctor about. Please ask him or her about all important outcomes of surgery. All surgery involves risk. You can read more about associated risks of endometriosis resection surgery here
Questions you can ask your doctor
- What medical and surgical options are available to address my endometriosis?
- Which is best for me and why?
- What are the differences between open, laparoscopic, and robotic-assisted surgery?
- Should I get a second opinion?
- What am I likely to experience after surgery?
- If I decide to have surgery, how can I prepare for it?
- Can you tell me about your training and experience with da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery?
- How will I feel after surgery?
Resources for learning more
Endometriosis surgery brochure
Read this brochure to help enable meaningful and informed conversation with your doctor about different options.
Gynecologic surgery with the da Vinci system
Gynecology surgeons use robotic-assisted surgery with da Vinci technology in many different types of procedures.
1. Endometriosis. Frequently Asked Questions: Gynecologic Problems. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Web. 14 May 2020
2. What are the Treatments for Endometriosis? National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Web. 14 May 2020
Disclosures and Important Safety Information
Risks associated with endometriosis resection (endometriosis surgery to remove implants) include injury to the bowel, bladder (organ that holds urine) or ureters (the ureters drain urine from the kidney into the bladder).
Important Safety Information
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision.
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety .
Individuals' outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics and/or surgeon experience.
Da Vinci Xi System Precaution Statement
The demonstration of safety and effectiveness for the specific procedure(s) discussed in this material was based on evaluation of the device as a surgical tool and did not include evaluation of outcomes related to the treatment of cancer (overall survival, disease-free survival, local recurrence), or treatment of the patient’s underlying disease/condition. Device usage in all surgical procedures should be guided by the clinical judgment of an adequately trained surgeon.
Medical Advice and Locating a Doctor
Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci surgery is right for them. Other options may be available and appropriate. Only a doctor can determine whether da Vinci surgery is appropriate for a patient’s situation. Patients and doctors should review all available information on both non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision.
Surgeons who utilize the da Vinci system can be found using the Surgeon Locator. Intuitive Surgical only provides surgeons with training on the use of the da Vinci system but does not certify, credential, or qualify the surgeons listed in the Surgeon Locator.
Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical or their respective owners. See www.intuitive.com/trademarks.
Important Safety Information
Patients should talk to their doctors to decide if da Vinci® surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on nonsurgical and surgical options and associated risks in order to make an informed decision.
Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci surgery, up to and including death. Serious risks include, but are not limited to, injury to tissues and organs and conversion to other surgical techniques, which could result in a longer operative time and/or increased complications. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.intuitive.com/safety.
Individuals' outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics, and/or surgeon experience.
Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical, or of their respective holders.
©2019 Intuitive Surgical, Inc. All rights reserved. Product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. The information on this website is intended for a United States audience only.
This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.