Login
Register

Home

About Us

Diagnoses

Treatments

Classes

Resources

Media

Testimonials

Blog

Account

Heather Jeffcoat at Healthline
Register
Abdominal Wall Endometriosis
Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash
Healthline author Gabrielle Kassel was asked to look into abdominal wall endometriosis, and she reached out to me for more info on this all too common issue that plagues many women. Here is a brief synopsis of the article with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat

Healthline Asks Heather Jeffcoat About Abdominal Wall Endometriosis

What is abdominal wall endometriosis?

In a recent interview with Healthline, I mention that Endometriosis is a condition that can develop in the fallopian tubes or ovaries. Though in some occasions the uterine-like cells grow outside the uterus and into other parts of the body. This condition can sometimes occur in rare forms, including a form consisting of cell growth along or within the abdominal wall known as abdominal wall endometriosis (AWE).

What are symptoms of abdominal wall endometriosis?

While some individuals with AWE may not experience any symptoms at all, those that do exhibit common signs that include abdominal swelling, tenderness, or bruising, pelvic pain (especially during menstruation), and the presence of a noticeable lump in the abdomen. As I mentioned during the interview,  “Due to the scar tissue that can develop when you have abdominal wall endometriosis, many people also feel restrictions in movement with certain positions, such as trunk rotation or extension.”

What causes abdominal wall endometriosis?

The exact cause of AWE remains unclear, but a study  published in 2022 points to a commonality with individuals who have a history of gynecological or obstetrical surgeries, particularly cesarean sections. Some theories suggest that endometrial tissue may be inadvertently implanted during abdominal surgeries or that menstrual blood may flow backward through the fallopian tubes, leading to the condition.

How is abdominal wall endometriosis diagnosed?

Diagnosis of abdominal wall endometriosis often involves a laparoscopic surgical biopsy, which I consider the gold standard. Though the surgery is considered minimally invasive, there has been a push for clinicians to consider alternative diagnostic methods, such as symptom tracking and various imaging technologies like ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans.

What treatment options are there?

While there is no cure for endometriosis yet, there is still hope as there are several treatment options available. Full excision surgery, involving the removal of affected tissues and surrounding areas, is typically the most effective for pain reduction. “But while excision surgery is a critical intervention, pain is complex, and at the point where the pain has become chronic, there’s rarely a single intervention that reverses an individual’s pain,” which I state in the interview.

The management of chronic pain may require a multifaceted approach that includes working with a team of  healthcare professionals like the pelvic floor therapists that practice at Femina Physical Therapy, acupuncturists, chronic pain specialists, and nutritionists. Medications, like hormonal contraceptives and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can also be implemented in the treatment plan.

What are the complications of AWE?

Abdominal wall endometriosis can lead to painful menstruation, adhesions, and skin changes. It may also be associated with infertility, although more research is needed to determine the extent of its impact on fertility.

Final thoughts for those living with AWE:

Despite the challenges, individuals with abdominal wall endometriosis can find relief from symptoms and continue to lead fulfilling lives with appropriate care and support. If you suspect that you may have symptoms related to abdominal wall endometriosis, consult with one of our practitioners at Femina Physical Therapy today for a specialized treatment plan. 

For more on abdominal wall endometriosis continue to the full Healthline article here.

What Our Patients Have to Say

Prev
Next

Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful. My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.

After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone. They told me they "just got used to it" but I couldn't see myself living that way.

Sex wasn't just painful, it was literally impossible - IT DIDNT FIT!

Read more: Testimonial by Rosanna R.,...

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful. My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.

After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone. They told me they "just got used to it" but I couldn't see myself living that way.

Sex wasn't just painful, it was literally impossible - IT DIDNT FIT!

Read more: Testimonial by Rosanna R.,...

Testimonial by Julie T.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has honestly changed my life. Before receiving treatment at Femina, I was going doctor to doctor to try and find the answer to my pelvic pain. It has taken me YEARS to find someone that can help fix this. It wasn't until my gynecologist recommended your clinic that I finally felt relief. My pelvic pain is almost gone, and granted I still have a lot more to work on with Laureen (my PT), my original problem is nearly cured. I am so grateful to her.

What is even better is she gave me practical exercises to do at home that were not tedious and provided instant (and lasting) relief. Although I mainly work with Laureen, my interaction with the owner (Heather) has been great. She is very generous, kind, and committed to her business.

It hurts to know there are women out there suffering who will never know or have the opportunity to work with women like Laureen and Heather because this issue is hardly talked about and this field is so rare. I hope more doctors and physical therapists see the value in this work and can relieve more woman of their pain.

-- Julie T., 12/4/16 via Yelp!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get access to our free downloads and a 15% discount on Heather's book "Sex Without Pain"!
captcha 
I agree with the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy