Endometriosis can infiltrate the surrounding tissues resulting in an important sclerotic, and inflammatory reaction which can translate clinically in nodularity, bowel stenosis and ureteral obstruction. The most severe forms such as rectovaginal endometriosis and endometriosis invading the rectum or the sigmoid have been known since the beginning of this century. These conditions, however, are relatively rare with an estimated prevalence of less than 1%.
Phillippe Koninckx, MD
To interpret the literature describing the results of surgery for endometriosis, a clear understanding of the evolution and limitations of the various techniques is necessary. Up to the end of the 1970’s, minimal and mild endometriosis was destroyed endoscopically by heat application (endothermia) and by unipolar or bipolar coagulation. Treatment of more severe endometriotic disease was mostly radical by hysterectomy, often leaving some rectovaginal endometriosis which has not been fully recognised before 1989.
Endometriosis is still poorly understood despite a high and still increasing publication rate of over 500 articles a year, i.e. 455 426, 448, 504 and 534 in the last 5 years respectively. It is considered to be one of the most important causes of pelvic pain and of infertility. The exact prevalence is not known since a laparoscopy is required to make the diagnosis and since the recognition varies with the training and the interest of the laparoscopist. Moreover the pathophysiology is poorly understood, which makes it difficult to formulate and test simple hypotheses.
Pelvic floor disorders: Cystocoele, Rectocoele - Enterocoele, Descensus Uteri, Incontinence
Pathophysiology of visceral pain