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same pain after surgery

By April 21, 2010 - 1:08am
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Hi, I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 12. I have had many surgeries and the last 2 were the Total Abdominal Hysterectomy, and about a year later i had an oopherectomy where they took my ovaries and tubes out. Its been about 8 months since the last surgery and I still have the same pain that I had before I had any surgery. My doctors are sending me to a GI doctor to see if it is a digestive problem. I am 24. Does anything seem wrong with my situation and could the pain be from a GI problem or is there a chance the endometriosis is back?

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Hi Itsbeenworse-

I'm so sorry you are having all these issues. The short answer is yes, it is possible the problems you are having could still be related to endometriosis, at least indirectly.

Endometriosis is a very frustrating issue. It isn't known what causes it, and severe cases can wreak total havoc on a woman's health, as you know first hand. You may already know some of this, but I want to run through a brief overview.

Endometrial tissue that belongs in the uterus gets into the abdominal cavity. Because it is still the same tissue wherever it is located, it still acts like endometrial tissue so it thickens and bleeds each month, even in the abdominal cavity. This tissue can stick to other organs like your bladder or your colon, and it can also cause organs to stick to each other. For instance the tissue on the bladder and outside of the uterus can cause your bladder and uterus to become stuck to each other. The same thing can happen with your colon. These areas that are stuck to each other are called adhesions.

Adhesions become like scars. Usually when you have the type of surgeries you've had, they will look for endometrial tissue in your abdominal cavity and take it out. They also try to remove adhesions when possible. The difficulty there is your are separating the organs from each other by cutting out scar tissue. What happens when you cut a scar? You get another scar. The new scarred area will usually be smaller and thinner, but there just is no perfect way to eliminate it altogether.

So while you may indeed have a separate GI issue, you could still have problems from adhesions even if the endometrial tissue is gone. The colon would be a common place for this. The National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse has a good explanation of this problem: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/intestinaladhesions/

We have and information page on endometriosis: http://www.empowher.com/condition/endometriosis and information on adhesions: http://www.empowher.com/condition/search/adhesions-after-removal-stage-4-endometriosis

I'm sure you must be frustrated to still be dealing with these issues. I hope the GI doc will be able to help you sort it out and find a solution.

Good luck.

April 21, 2010 - 7:17am
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