So, Wednesday is the big day. I was talking to my Mum last night and she asked me what exactly my upcoming surgery entailed. Figured I’d share it in case you didn’t know.
Endometriosis lesions (also called implants) grow wherever they damn well please inside the body. My brain interprets them much like mushroom spores that *poof* and attach to wherever they land and grow. However, much like an iceberg, more than just the visible tip exists beneath the surface. Some people liken it to an invasive cancer, although not fatal.
There are a few different ways different surgeons handle removing Endometriosis:
Burning it away (also called ablation). The surgeon destroys the lesion/implant by burning them, much like you would freeze or burn a wart. Often times, this does not destroy the entire implant and may lead to the development of more scar tissue and regrowth of Endo.
Shaving it away. The surgeon again destroys the lesion/implant by cutting off the top surface of the implant, similar to the removal of a mole or skin tag. This, again, may lead to the regrowth of Endo.
Cutting it away (also called excision). The surgeon removes the lesion/implant by not only removing the visible surface of the implant, but by removing some of the healthy tissue around and beneath the surface; in the hopes of removing the entire implant and slowing the rate of regrowth. This is considered by most experts as the way to do it correctly.
My surgeon may also run into adhesions, scar tissue which forms spider webs or rubber bands around the pelvic cavity, pulling organs out of place or sticking them to one another. These adhesions will need to be removed and treated with a barrier medication to prevent immediate reformation.
It is not an easy surgery, sometimes taking between 1-7 hours to complete. My 2014 surgery took four hours. It’s not as simple as removing tonsils or repairing a broken bone, although I’m certain those are not easy either. It is extensive, requiring great focus and skill on behalf of the surgeon. And due to the complexity of the damage and repair done, recovery can take several weeks.
During my first surgery, Endometriosis lesions/implants were found on my Pouch of Douglas (a void between your uterus and your rectum), my ovaries, my liver, my diaphragm, the lining of my pelvic cavity, my left fallopian tube, and on the scar tissue throughout my pelvic cavity. My surgeon was not able to remove the Endometriosis from my liver due to the risks involved.
My uterus was also stuck to my bladder and my bowels, my bowels also stuck to the left side of my pelvic wall, and my left ovary was completely lost within the knotted mess of Endometriosis and scar tissue.
Once my doctor excised (cut out) all of my Endometriosis that he could and freed up my organs and removed the scar tissue, he treated certain areas with a barrier medication called Seprafilm, in the hopes to prevent the adhesions from immediately redeveloping. I know he will do the same this time around, too.
There. If you were curious what surgery I was going in for, now you know. Everything will be okay. *deep breaths*
All the things I’ve read since my diagnosis and conversations with my doctor.
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 🙂 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa