Bowel surgery for endometriosis: A practical look at short- and long-term complications

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2021 Mar:71:144-160. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2020.06.003. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


Endometriosis involving the bowel requires a thorough evaluation prior to deciding upon surgical treatment. Patient symptoms, treatment goals, extent and location of disease, surgeon experience, and anticipated risks all play a part in the preoperative decision-making process. Short- and long-term complications after bowel surgery for endometriosis are the focus of this article. Unfortunately, the literature to date has inherent limitations that prevent generalizability. Most studies are retrospective or prospective single-center case series. Publication bias is unavoidable with mainly large volume experts sharing their experience. As a result, there is a need for high-quality prospective studies that standardize inclusion criteria and outcome measures among various centers with an aim to present long-term outcomes. In the meantime, care for those with endometriosis involving the bowel requires a thorough preoperative plan to minimize risks and a need for early diagnosis and management of complications unique to bowel surgery.

Keywords: Bowel surgery; Complications; Deep endometriosis; Endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectal Diseases* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome