Endometriosis is a condition that is present when the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus (endometrium) starts to grow outside of the uterus. Along with causing severe pain in the pelvis and abdomen areas, endometriosis may also cause the formation of scar tissue, cysts, and adhesions on or around the ovaries. This occurs because during menstruation, the tissue that has developed on the outside of the uterus becomes trapped and has nowhere to exit the body. Though the cause of endometriosis may not always be able to be identified, our team of skilled OB/GYNs at Women’s Health at Valley View works with women to properly diagnose and treat endometriosis through various procedure options. Contact us in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, or Silt, CO to learn more and to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified professionals.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
There are several symptoms that are linked to endometriosis that can help lead to a proper diagnosis, including:
- Abnormally painful menstrual periods
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Painful bowel movements or urination
- Heavy or excessive bleeding during menstruation
Though the only way to get an accurate diagnose of endometriosis is through a diagnostic laparoscopic surgical procedure, there are a few other noninvasive tests that can be conducted if it suspected that you may have endometriosis, such as:
- A pelvic exam: In this exam, one of our OB/GYN specialists will manually feel around your pelvic area in order to detect any abnormalities, including cysts. Typically, endometriosis may only be suspected during a pelvic exam if one of the abnormalities is currently present.
- An ultrasound: For this test, the ultrasound may be conducted on your abdomen or as a transvaginal ultrasound. This allows for a better image of your reproductive organs. Similar to the pelvic exam, it can only identify existing abnormalities and cannot conclusively diagnose endometriosis.
- An MRI: Using radio waves and a magnetic field, an MRI may be utilized for surgical planning and provide information about the overall location and size of endometrial implants.
- Laparoscopic surgery: During this procedure, a small incision is made near the belly button and a laparoscope is inserted in order to evaluate any abnormal tissue grown outside of the uterus. A sample of the tissue may be taken as a biopsy, and in many cases, surgical treatment can be administered at the same time as the diagnosis.
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"Truly BLESSED: - God has been so good to me, placing this woman in my path. She’s the first that took me seriously wo eye-rolls n the words “inconclusive” and “hypochondriac”!!!!!!!God alone "dropped her in my lap". I was at a Ladies' Bible Study n a woman there was talking about her Dr. n how pleased she was with her. I asked for the name:Dr. Katie Mang-Smith atWomen's Health at Valley-View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.She took the time to go over the paperwork / results from the multiple tests I've had done elsewhere since Jan 2017, multiple UAs, a cystoscopy, a CT scan, a pelvic ultrasound, and several pelvic exams,....) the problems I've been having that prompted me to have them, n my frustration of getting no answers / “inconclusive” results.The surgery was planned as "exploratory" to discover why n ended up being a major effort / undertaking of precision repair(s),for problems, some I suspected, some, no one had any clue!!!!!!!What was supposed to be 1 1/2 - 2 hours, was a 4 hour surgery!!!!!!!Grateful to God for His Provision!!!!!!!I had my surgery on Tuesday, 27 NOV, 18. It’s now Friday. Dr Mang-Smith came to my hospital room Tuesday afternoon to explain / discuss what she’d accomplished:After my previous partial hysterectomy (Colorado Springs 1998) and in the 20 years since,upon visual inspection, Dr. Mang-Smith discovered:Vaginal cuff, bladder, colon, ovaries and tubes all stuck together w a lot of scar tissue / adhesions,creating a large knotted lump / cluster of imperfectly, often painfully functioning organs, including confirmation of vaginal cuff that had come “unbuttoned” from the previous surgery.(Explains a LOT of on-going symptoms!!!!!!!)The pictures are shocking / stunning.She had to dissect it all to separate / get it apart.Once apart:Discovered a fistula n removed a portion of colon / repaired it.Removed (dead / atrophied / w cyst) ovaries n tubes.Put remaining items in their proper places, allowing them to freely move, naturally.Repaired the “unbuttoned” vaginal cuff.More incisions than planned to allow for tools -some glued, some sewn; a bit warm, but healing nicely.VERY sore -esp left side where biggest incisions are.On norco n ibuprofen for pain.On fluids, liquid diet / transition to soft / reg.Now home.Still a bit dizzy, n puffy from fluid, as well as some pain from gas, and other minor discomforts. Only a bit of nausea. A bit of fever yesterday, but all in all, vitals are good, n recovery seems to be going well.She called me yesterday and I told her how grateful I was -she’s basically saved my life. If all this had gone undiscovered (doesn’t show on any of the tests I’ve done!!!!!!!) for another 10-20 years, I’d never have survived it. (I’m 58 -would’ve had much more difficulty at 78!!!!!!!)Thank you SO very much, Dr. Mang-Smith, for your attentiveness, kindness, and skill!!!!!!! Recommending you will be one of the greatest privileges / pleasures of my life!!!!!!!Gratefully,Deborah Christine Garrett 🐝"- Anonymous / Vitals / Nov 30, 2018
"Dr. Joel Dickens was our doctor throughout my second pregnancy and birth of our daughter two years ago. He was great about answering any of our questions and addressing any concerns we had along the way. He never made me feel like any of my questions were unimportant or silly and I was never made to feel that my concerns were irrational. I am now in my last weeks of my third pregnancy and am much less anxious knowing this baby and I are in good hands with Dr. Dickens. We highly recommend Dr. Joel Dickens!"- Anonymous / Vitals / Nov 19, 2018
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Effective in helping to slow the growth of endometrial tissue, hormone-balancing medications come in various forms. Some of the most common include birth control pills, patches, vaginal rings, and intrauterine devices. During a thorough consultation, our team of OB/GYNs will be able to determine which form of hormone treatment may be ideal for you and your needs in order to relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that works to destroy the endometrium that has developed outside of the uterus. With no necessary incisions, a small device is inserted through the vagina and various methods may be used to ablate the tissue, including radiofrequency energy, extreme cold, heated fluids, or microwave energy.
During a laparoscopic procedure, as much of the endometrial tissue is removed as possible. Through a small incision, only the tissue in the uterus is targeted and both the uterus and ovaries are preserved.
What to Expect
Prior to recommending any form of treatment, our experienced team at Women's Health at Valley View will conduct the appropriate diagnostic testing and provide a thorough examination. Typically, less invasive treatments will be prescribed before a surgical option is recommended. Our team will also be available to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after your treatment process to ensure that you are comfortable and thoroughly understand your procedure options.
Live Without Pain
Endometriosis can be extremely painful and affect your overall quality of life. At Women's Health at Valley View, we can offer both diagnostic testing and treatment to help eradicate the unpleasant symptoms associated with this condition. To learn more, we invite you to contact one of our Colorado locations to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified OB/GYNs.