Pelvic pain refers to pain located in the lowest portion of your abdomen below the belly button. In women, it is usually linked to the reproductive or urinary systems.
Regarding the reproductive system, two common sources of pelvic pain are uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining (endometrium) moves out of the uterus and into other parts of the pelvic area such as the ovaries, bowels or behind the uterus. Generally not a serious or harmful condition, endometriosis can be painful and may interfere with your daily life. It is one of the most common health problems in women.
During your period, this tissue swells and bleeds, then detaches from the uterine lining to be released within the menstrual flow. When it is located in areas outside of the uterus, this swelling causes pain and may form scar tissue. There is no known cause of endometriosis, but it tends to run in families. Symptoms include:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Chronic lower back and pelvic pain
- Pain during or after sex
- Heavy and/or long menstrual periods
Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery for the treatment of endometriosis using the da Vinci™ Surgical System.
When endometriosis is diagnosed early, robotic-assisted surgery is especially promising for women who would like to have children in the future. No matter where the endometriosis is located, the da Vinci robot allows the surgeon to make small, extremely precise movements to remove the tissue, preserving the delicate structures of the pelvis and decreasing the chance of future complications. The da Vinci’s 3D camera allows the surgeon better visualization of the anatomy, which is especially helpful with surgery for endometriosis.
For the patient, benefits of robotic-assisted surgery for endometriosis may include:
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss
- Less scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Faster return to normal daily activities
- In many cases, better clinical outcomes
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery at Holy Cross Hospital is considered safe and effective, it may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.