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Clinical Management of Endometriosis

Falcone, Tommaso MD, FRCSC; Lebovic, Dan I. MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822adfd1
Clinical Expert Series
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Spanish Translation

Endometriosis is a relatively common chronic gynecologic disorder that usually presents with chronic pelvic pain or infertility. The societal effect of this disorder is enormous both in monetary costs and in quality of life. The diagnosis of the disease can only be definitively made with surgical intervention. Fertility may be enhanced with surgical intervention, but medical suppressive therapy has no role apart from in vitro fertilization. Assisted reproductive technology is associated with excellent outcomes. Management of endometriomas is particularly complex because surgical intervention may reduce ovarian reserve. Both medical and surgical treatment of endometriosis-associated chronic pelvic pain are effective in the short-term. Recurrence is common with both modalities. Recurrence after surgical intervention can be decreased with the use of postoperative suppressive medical therapy such as hormonal contraceptives. This article presents the different types of peritoneal disease found in endometriosis patients. The technique used to safely and completely remove the disease is discussed. The specific areas of involvement include the pelvic side wall, the cul-de-sac, and bladder peritoneum.

Effective surgical and medical modalities are available for the management of endometriosis. SUPPLEMENTAL DIGITAL CONTENT IS AVAILABLE IN THE TEXT.

From the Gynecology and Women's Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; and the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

Continuing medical education for this article is available at

Corresponding author: Tommaso Falcone, MD, FRCSC, Professor and Chair Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, A81, Cleveland, OH 44195; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.