We frequently see women complaining of strong – sometimes extreme – pelvic pain during their periods, bowel discomfort, excessive and/or irregular bleeding, and infertility problems. They have gone to other doctors in the past, have had ultrasounds that ruled out any fibroids or cysts and still don’t have a diagnosis or a treatment. Many have had these symptoms for years and have even needed to go to the emergency room. A common cause of pelvic pain that is often only diagnosed after several years of symptoms is endometriosis, which affects 1 in 10 women in reproductive age.
The only way to accurately diagnose this disease is by laparoscopic surgery. One of the main reasons diagnosis takes an average of eight years is that there is currently no non-invasive test that accurately diagnoses endometriosis. Fortunately, there’s increased interest (and funding) being allocated to developing an easier, more accessible way to diagnose the disease without surgery. In October 2020, the British All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis reported that the Endometriosis CaRe Centre and Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health from Oxford University are collaborating with Serac Healthcare to try to establish a faster-diagnosing process.
Researchers will ask women who have scheduled laparoscopic surgeries to diagnose and treat endometriosis to participate in a 20-minute imaging scan to see if it can detect the most common types of the disease. They will use an experimental imaging marker that has already been used to detect inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and will hopefully allow scans to visualize endometriosis inflammation.
We look forward to their findings as women have long been waiting for a non-invasive way to get answers about their pelvic pain.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika Balassiano, Pooja Gupta, and Christina Lam, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.
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