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There are a number of surgical operations that may be appropriate for women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP).

Your doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery to diagnose the underlying cause of your pain. If endometriosis or pelvic adhesions are found, laparoscopy can also be used to remove endometrial growths and pelvic adhesions. Laparoscopy uses a fibreoptic device, called a laparoscope, to examine the inside of the pelvic cavity. The laparoscope is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen (often in or around the belly button). Laparoscopy is day surgery and may or may not require a general anesthetic. Women who have a laparoscopy should expect two to three days of abdominal discomfort following the procedure, after which they can resume their daily activities.

Beyond this exploratory surgery, there are a number of surgeries done to treat the underlying conditions associated with CPP (click on the links below to learn more about these). These surgical procedures are often a first step to relieving CPP, but they may not resolve it. Talk to your doctor about what to expect from any surgery that is performed.

  • Endometrial resection, which uses a wire loop to remove the lining of the uterus
  • Vulvar vestibulitis surgery
  • Removal of scar tissue and adhesions
  • Presacral neurectomy
  • Removal of fibroids or ovarian cysts
  • Surgical repair of pelvic prolapse and other muscle damage

Other surgical options are occasionally appropriate for women with CPP. If a hernia is present, surgery to repair it can greatly reduce pelvic pain. Surgical removal of the appendix is also appropriate if it is infected or damaged by scar tissue.


The removal of the uterus is a treatment of last resort for the treatment of CPP. Removing the uterus will not automatically resolve CPP; in many cases, it does not provide relief. However, when CPP is clearly caused by problems with the uterus, there are times when it is appropriate. A hysterectomy may be the best treatment for women with large fibroids or extensive damage from endometriosis, provided they do not plan to get pregnant in the future. Talk to your doctor about why this procedure is being recommended. For a more extensive discussion about dealing with the possibility of a hysterectomy, visit the Fibroids Health Centre.


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