Information for patients
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a benign (non-cancerous) condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows outside of the womb. This can be on the lining of the inside of the pelvis, on the ovaries, bowel or many other organs.
What causes endometriosis and is it common?
The cause of endometriosis is not known. The average time to diagnosis in the UK is 7.5 years. 1 in 10 women of reproductive age in UK are estimated to be affected by endometriosis, and 10% worldwide, however we understand that not everyone who is diagnosed with endometriosis will identify as female.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The most common symptoms include:
- Painful or heavy periods
- Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or lower back
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain on opening your bowels
- Infertility (difficulty getting pregnant)
How severe the symptoms are depends largely on where in your body the endometriosis is, rather than the amount of endometriosis you have. A small amount of endometriosis can be as painful as, or more painful than, a larger amount.
What are the treatment options?
Unfortunately there is currently no cure for the condition but we can help to manage the pain and other symptoms it may cause. Treatment options include:
As we know that endometriosis is a benign condition, if it is not causing you any problems and / or you are not looking to be pregnant then there is nothing we need to do about it.
This can be split into two main forms:
- Hormonal treatment i.e. combined oral contraceptives / mirena coil etc
- Pain relief i.e. pain medication, physiotherapy / exercises for pain, working with pain specialists in a ‘pain clinic’
Each surgery is individual and will be discussed in detail with you, but usually involves a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) and could include excision (removal) of any endometriosis or adhesions or removal of an endometrioma (ovarian cyst) if you have one. All of our surgical cases are discussed at our multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting prior to the operation, this includes our experienced endometriosis surgeons, colorectal surgeons, urologists and pain management team so that everyone can give their specialist input.
- Mr. Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee is the founder and co-lead for CEES-U. As a Consultant gynaecologist and minimal access reproductive surgeon, he is a recognised expert in his field. Saikat trained and qualified at Guys Hospital, taking two separate sabbaticals to learn gynaecological ultrasound at Kings College and laparoscopic surgery at CEMIG: Surry centre for endometriosis and minimally invasive endometriosis.
Saikat is currently a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Having been awarded a first class BSc in radiological sciences and a distinction at MSc in advanced benign gynaecological surgery, he then went on to work as a consultant at the CEMIG for 10 years, which become the first UK recognised endometriosis centres.
Saikat lectures both nationally and internationally on endometriosis and laparoscopic surgery.
- Emily Gelson
Endometriosis specialist nurse
- Katie Keane
Katie joined the endometriosis team in 2023. She completed her nursing degree in Cambridge in 2015 where she has worked in Cambridge University Hospital since. Since qualifying, Katie has undergone post graduate learning in adult acute care and mentorship for pre-reg students and newly qualified nurses and is looking forward to continuing her professional development. Katie worked within surgery where she later become a nursing sister on a colorectal and emergency ward for 5 years before joining the CEES-U.
Katie is passionate about patient education allowing each patient to understand their condition and make informed treatment options. Her main drive and focus is individualising patient care, allowing her patients to feel heard and understood; ensuring they are centre to each decision and feel supported.
As the endometriosis specialist Nurse, she will be your main point of contact whilst you are under the care of CEES-U.
- Atanu Pal
Atanu Pal is a consultant colorectal and general surgeon at Addenbrooke’s hospital. He studied medicine at Cambridge University, qualifying with a first-class BA and MBBChir with distinction. He undertook research in intestinal physiology to gain a doctorate of medicine (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA). He also worked abroad in New Zealand prior to starting as a consultant surgeon in the UK.
He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He performs minimally invasive surgery for endometriosis as well as for bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions of the large and small bowel. He has published papers on bowel surgery in high-impact scientific journals and regularly presents at national and international conferences.
- Kris Jourand
Kris Jourand is a consultant colorectal and general surgery at Addenbrooke's hospital. He studied medicine at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and qualified with a master’s degree in medicine with distinction. A considerable part of a surgical straining was done at major academic centres also offering high volume endometriosis surgery. He was involved in many trials and in research. He completed his surgical training in Belgium and continued with an advanced fellowship here at Addenbrooke's hospital leading to being appointed as a consultant surgeon at Addenbrooke's hospital. He performs minimally invasive surgery for endometriosis as well as for bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions of the large and small bowel.
- Mr. Nikesh Thiruchelvam
Mr Nikesh Thiruchelvam is a highly-experienced consultant urologist based in Cambridge. He has a specialist interest in all aspects of urinary dysfunction and treatment, in addition to endometriosis surgery with bladder involvement. Mr Thiruchelvam is celebrated for performing the first Urolift (opens in a new tab) procedure in Cambridge, and runs a specialist vasectomy reversal clinic (opens in a new tab) using microsurgical techniques. He enjoys excellent reviews from patients praising his clear explanations and high level of care and attention.
Originally qualifying from St Bartholomew’s hospital medical college in London, Mr Thiruchelvam pursued specialist training at leading centres of urological excellence including St. Bartholomew’s, the Royal London hospital, Ipswich hospital and Great Ormond Street hospital. Over the course of his career Mr Thiruchelvam has secured multiple fellowships to travel to the USA and Australia, studying cutting edge techniques in treating prostate enlargement and urinary incontinence. He completed an MD in London, and was appointed consultant urologist at Cambridge University Hospitals in 2009.
Widely published in textbooks, patient guides, and peer-reviewed journals, Mr Thiruchelvam is highly-regarded for his extensive knowledge in the basic science of urology as well as surgical best practice. He is a significant contributor to NICE consultations, NHS Horizon Scanning documents, NICE Eyes on Evidence and NIHR Design for Dignity. Internationally, Mr Thiruchelvam is a co-author to the European Association of Urology Guidelines for urinary incontinence, invited faculty of European School of Urology and is regularly invited to lecture at urology conferences abroad and undertake visiting professorships.
Pain management specialist
- Parveen Dhillon
You can be referred to our service by:
- Your GP
- A healthcare professional within Cambridge University Hospital
A healthcare professional from another hospital (a tertiary referral).
Endometriosis specialist nurse contactable on telephone: 01223 349240
Please see the "Useful links" section on the right-hand side for further information.