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Fertil Steril. 1990 Mar;53(3):411-6.

Surgical treatment of symptomatic colorectal endometriosis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.


The approach to the treatment of bowel endometriosis has varied greatly. In this paper we present 77 consecutive patients with deep colorectal endometriosis treated with a full-thickness resection. Gynecologic procedures included conservative laparotomies for preserving fertility (39 patients); hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (29 patients); bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (2 patients); left salpingo-oophorectomy (1 patient) and resection of pelvic endometriosis in patients with previous ablative surgery (6 patients). A low anterior bowel resection was performed in 68 patients (88.3%); a disc excision of the anterior rectal wall in 5 (6.5%); sigmoid resection in 3 (3.9%), and partial cecal resection in 1 (1.3%). The postoperative febrile morbidity was 10.4%, with no apparent anastomotic leaks. Of 33 patients who attempted to conceive postoperatively, 13 achieved a term pregnancy (39.4%). Complete relief of pelvic symptoms was obtained in 38 patients (49.4%); improvement in 30 (39%); no improvement in 8 (10.4%); and worsening of symptoms in 1 (1.2%). There has been no recurrence of symptomatic bowel endometriosis during 1 to 9 years of follow-up. Full-thickness resection of the colon for the treatment of deep bowel endometriosis is a safe procedure with low morbidity, good postoperative relief of symptoms, and favorable pregnancy rates.

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