Endometriosis is a condition which affects 1:10 young women and is associated with a variety of clinical problems including pelvic pain, pelvic scarring and subfertility.
It is caused by growth of endometrial glands outside of the womb, typically on or in ovaries, at the back of the uterus, on the pelvic walls and on the bowel.
In cases of mild endometriosis there may be nothing to see on ultrasound, but as the disease causes more scarring and distortion we see it more clearly on ultrasound. While it is a relatively simple thing to see endometriotic cysts in the ovaries, deeper deposits of endometriosis on the bowel or bladder are difficult to see and we use a light enema as preparation for these scans. If your specialist has diagnosed endometriosis and is suspicious of “deep disease” please discuss this with our booking staff to check if an enema is required before the scan.
If so, we will send you a pack of 2 laxative tablets and a microenema along with an explanation of how to use these as preparation before the scan.
The scans are performed by Dr Valeria Lanzarone who has visited overseas endometriosis centres to learn the scanning technique of looking for deep infiltrative endometriosis.
The value of the examination is in allowing the patient and her surgeon to be better
prepared for the surgical challenges associated with deep infiltrating endometriosis of the bowel and pouch of Douglas if the disease is recognised pre operatively.
While longer than a typical pelvic ultrasound it is in other respects very similar and is done with a combination of transabdominal and transvaginal scanning.