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The outcomes of repeat surgery for recurrent symptomatic endometriosis

Berlanda, Nicolaa; Vercellini, Paoloa,b; Fedele, Luigia

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: August 2010 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 320–325
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32833bea15
Minimally invasive gynecologic procedures: Edited by Colin J. Davis

Purpose of review To evaluate the efficacy of second-line surgery in the management of recurrent endometriosis.

Recent findings Long-term probability of pain recurrence after repeat conservative surgery for recurrent endometriosis varies between 20 and 40%. The association of presacral neurectomy to the treatment of endometriosis might be effective in reducing midline pain; however, no studies have evaluated this procedure among patients with recurrent disease. The medium-term outcome of hysterectomy for endometriosis-associated pain is quite satisfactory; nevertheless, probability of pain persistence after hysterectomy is 15% and risk of pain worsening 3–5%, with a six times higher risk of further surgery in patients with ovarian preservation as compared to ovarian removal. The conception rate among women undergoing repetitive surgery for recurrent endometriosis associated with infertility is 26%, whereas the overall crude pregnancy rate after a primary procedure is 41%.

Summary Repeat conservative surgery for pelvic pain associated with recurrent endometriosis has the same efficacy and limitations as primary surgery. Conversely, after repeat conservative surgery for infertility, the pregnancy rate is almost half the rate obtained after primary surgery. More data are needed to define the best therapeutic option in women with recurrent endometriosis, in terms of pain relief, pregnancy rate and patient compliance.

a‘Luigi Mangiagalli’ Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fondazione IRCCS CA' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico

bCenter for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology (C.R.O.G.), University of Milan, Milan, Italy

Correspondence to Dr Nicola Berlanda, Clinica Ostetrica e Ginecologica I ‘Luigi Mangiagalli’, Fondazione IRCCS CA' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università di Milano, Via della Commenda 12-20122 Milano, Italy Tel: +39 02 5503 2917; fax: +39 02 5503 2331; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.