DEEP INFILTRATING ENDOMETRIOSIS
Background: Endometriosis is not considered a unified disease, but a disease encompassing three differ- ent forms differentiated by aetiology and pathogenesis: peritoneal endometriosis, ovarian endometriosis and deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). The disease is classified as DIE when the lesions penetrate 5 mm or more into the retroperitoneal space. The estimated incidence of endometriosis in women of reproductive age ranges from 10–15 % and that of DIE from 3–10 %, the highest being in infertile women and in those with chronic pelvic pain. The leading symptoms of DIE are chronic pelvic pain which increases with age and correlates with the depth of infiltration and infertility. The most important diagnostic procedures are patient’s history and proper gynecological examination. The diagnosis is confirmed with laparoscopy.
DIE can affect, beside reproductive organs, also bowel, bladder and ureters, therefore adi- tional diagnostic procedures must be performed preopertively to confirm or to exclude the involvement of the mentioned organs. Endometriosis is hormon dependent disease, there- fore several hormonal treatment regims are used to supress estrogen production but the symptoms recurr soon after caesation of the treatment. At the moment, surgical treatment with excision of all lesions, including those of bowel, bladder and ureters, is the method of choice but requires frequently interdisciplinary approach. Surgical treatment significantly reduces pain and improves fertility in inferile patients.
Conclusions: DIE is not a rare form of endometriosis characterized by chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Medical treatment is not efficient. The method of choice is surgical treatment with excision of all lesions. It significantly reduces pelvic pain and enables high spontaneus and IVF preg- nacy rates.Therefore such patients should be treated at centres with experience in treatment of DIE and with possibility of interdisciplinary approach.
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