Endometriosis Hertfordshire, part of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has been recognised by the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy as an accredited endometriosis centre – the only one in Hertfordshire.
Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. The condition is estimated to affect one in 10 women and is often thought to be underdiagnosed.
Patients requiring complex surgery would normally travel to London for the procedure – which can now be done at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage under the care of a multi-disciplinary team from specialties including colorectal surgery, urology, pain specialist, radiology and an endometriosis nurse.
The Endometriosis Hertfordshire team performs more than 200 cases of laparoscopic surgery treatment for endometriosis per year. As part of the accreditation process, a total of 39 cases of complex surgery were registered to the national database over the course of 2019.
Chou Phay (C P) Lim, Consultant advanced gynaecological endoscopic surgeon and Clinical endometriosis lead at the trust, said: “Being accredited by the British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy is an important milestone in the treatment of endometriosis patients in Hertfordshire, as we are now nationally recognised to be able to offer the best treatment for women with all forms of endometriosis.
“Endometriosis remains a very enigmatic condition and women are affected in a variety of different ways. Just because they have the condition, it does not mean they have to suffer with it.”
Stevenage resident Sue Thomson said that the endometriosis treatment she received at the Lister changed her life.
“Endometriosis is such a misunderstood condition and you are often expected to live with the symptoms, which can be completely debilitating,” she said.
“When I began to receive treatment at the Lister, I felt that staff took the time to really listen and understand what I was going through.
“I have received first class service at the hospital and my life has improved dramatically since my operation.”
A spokesperson from Endometriosis UK Hertfordshire Support Group added:
“The Endometriosis UK Hertfordshire Support Group welcomes this news with immense relief. We would like to thank Mr Lim and his team at the Lister for their hard work and dedication in getting this service set up and accredited in such a short space of time.
“Thousands of women in Hertfordshire, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, are suffering the debilitating symptoms of this often misunderstood condition.
“The accreditation means women can now receive that expert treatment, including for severe and complex endometriosis, without the added difficulty of travelling to appointments or tackling a long post-operative journey home.”