Endometriosis affects approximately 11% of women; the disease can be categorized as pelvic endometriosis and extrapelvic endometriosis, based on anatomic presentation. It is estimated that about 12% of extrapelvic disease involves the diaphragm or thoracic cavity.

While diaphragmatic endometriosis often is asymptomatic, patients who are symptomatic can experience progressive and incapacitating pain. A significant number of patients with diaphragmatic endometriosis can go undiagnosed for long periods of time because of a traditional focus on the lower pelvic region. Some cases are misdiagnosed as other conditions involving the gastrointestinal tract or of cardiothoracic origin, because of the propensity of diaphragmatic disease to occur posteriorly and hide behind the liver. The variable appearance of endometriotic lesions and the lack of reliable diagnostic or imaging tests also can contribute to delayed diagnosis.

Click here to read the entire article by Dr. Ceana Nezhat in Ob.Gyn. News.