Bowel endometriosis: diagnosis and management

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The most common location of extragenital endometriosis is the bowel. Medical treatment may not provide long-term improvement in patients who are symptomatic, and consequently most of these patients may require surgical intervention. Over the past century, surgeons have continued to debate the optimal surgical approach to treating bowel endometriosis, weighing the risks against the benefits. In this expert review we will describe how the recommended surgical approach depends largely on the location of disease, in addition to size and depth of the lesion. For lesions approximately 5-8 cm from the anal verge, we encourage conservative surgical management over resection to decrease the risk of short- and long-term complications.

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