Long-term follow-up of a controlled trial of laser laparoscopy for pelvic pain

JSLS. 2001 Apr-Jun;5(2):111-5.


Background and objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term efficacy of laparoscopic laser surgery in the treatment of painful pelvic endometriosis.

Methods: We conducted a long-term follow-up of 56 patients who had participated in a randomized, double-blind controlled study at a tertiary referral center for the laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis. The patients had pelvic pain, minimal-to-moderate endometriosis, and underwent laser laparoscopy. We asked patients whether they had now achieved satisfactory symptom relief or whether they had received any further medical intervention for their endometriosis. The main outcome measure was continued symptom relief after treatment and subsequent medical history.

Results: Of the original 56 patients, we were able to contact 38 (67.9%). The mean (range) time since operation was 73 months. Painful symptoms had recurred in 28/38 (73.7%) patients at some point since their operation. The median (range) time for recurrence was 19.7 (5-60) months. At the time of follow-up, satisfactory symptom relief was reported in 21/38 (55.3%) patients. The remaining 17/38 (44.7%) patients continued to experience painful symptoms, and eight eventually had a hysterectomy.

Conclusions: This study suggests that operative laparoscopy can have long-term benefits for the majority of women with pelvic pain due to endometriosis, but because of the small numbers, this study lacks the power to demonstrate this conclusively.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endometriosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Pain / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome