Objective: To evaluate rate and determinants of long-term recurrence of endometriosis in a population of young women. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: University tertiary care referral center for women with benign gynecologic diseases. Participants: Young women undergoing first-line conservative surgery for endometriosis were eligible for the study. Data on age at surgery, disease stage, anatomical characteristics of endometriotic lesions, and endometriosis-related symptoms were collected. After diagnosis, patients were treated according to the standard care of the center. The protocol required all women to be followed up 1 month after surgery, and every 6 months afterward, with an interview to investigate persistence of symptoms, a clinical examination, and an ultrasound pelvic assessment. Results: Fifty-seven women aged ≤ 21 (mean age at diagnosis ± SD: 19.0 ± 1.1 years) entered the study. During a 5-year follow-up, 32 (56%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 43%-68%) recurrences of endometriosis were diagnosed. A second laparoscopy to treat the recurrence was performed in 11 (34%) cases and confirmed the presence of the disease in all of them. In the remaining 21 (66%) cases, the recurrence was based on the reappearance of the symptoms or clinical or sonographic findings. The recurrence rate increased constantly with time from first surgery. No association emerged between recurrence rate and endometriosis-related symptoms, site/stage of the disease, type of surgery, and post-surgical medical treatment. Conclusions: The recurrence rate of endometriosis in young women appears higher than in older women. Since no determinants for recurrence have been detected among the factors examined, a profile of women at increased risk cannot be drawn.
- Young age
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health