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Diaphragmatic Endometriosis

From the Endometriosis Articles List

Endometriosis in DiaphragmI have a question about diaphragmatic endometriosis. During surgery, my doctor discovered some endometriosis on my diaphragm and some holes in the right side of my diaphragm from it. I have symptoms and pain that I think are due to this endometriosis. What symptoms could be related to this type of endometriosis and where do I go from here?


Diaphragmatic endometriosis is rare and can be asymptomatic. Thus, many doctors may not know how to treat it. You will need to consult with a doctor who specializes in treating endometriosis, a thoracic surgeon, and/or a endoscopic surgeon experienced with upper abdominal procedures to determine what your next step should be. In general, diaphragmatic endometriosis does not tend to respond to medical therapy but when asymptomatic may not require treatment.

As with endometriosis in other areas, symptoms can be cyclic but not necessarily. Symptoms of diaphragmatic endometriosis can include chest pain, shoulder pain, upper abdominal pain, epigastric pain, and shortness of breath. Women with diaphragmatic endometriosis may also experience Catamenial Pneumothorax, a condition where the lung collapses during their period.

When women do not have symptoms, the physician and patient may choose to follow an expectant approach. The doctor will monitor the patient for any change in symptoms but not offer any other intervention until then.

If surgery is necessary, there are some unique challenges that have to considered. Symptomatic diaphragmatic endometriosis is usually located on the back side of the diaphragm making it hard to reach. The ability to access and see all parts of the diaphragm can also be difficult. However, a prepared and skilled surgeon may be able to perform a laparoscopic procedure and avoid a laparotomy. More port holes may be required, position may need to be changed during surgery, and specialized techniques may be necessary.

Studies have indicated that following thorough surgical treatment, diaphragmatic endometriosis is far less likely to recur than other forms of endometriosis.

To find out what treatment would be best for you, keep a detailed symptom diary and then look for a surgeon with experience treating diaphragmatic endometriosis.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

03-17-2013 - 01:01 PM


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