Ready for surgery. Professor Axel Forman (left) has invited professor Horace Roman (middle). Consultant Mikkel Seyer-Hansen (right) is learning a new and gentle surgical technique to operate women with intestinal endometriosis. Photo: Michael Harder.


A new surgical technique in women with intestinal endometriosis will now make it possible to avoid removal of part of the intestines.

October 11, the international top surgeon Horace Roman from Rouen University Hospital in France operates together with the consultants Mikkel Seyer-Hansen and Mads Riiskjær from Department of Gyneacology and Obstetrics at Aarhus University Hospital.

Horace Roman is teaching the Danish surgeons a new technique to treat women with endometriosis, typically with rectal involvement. Previously, surgeons have removed the entire part of the involved intestines. Horace Roman has developed a technique where the involved intestines are not removed entirely but only the areas affected by endometriosis.

- Working with Horace Roman today will teach this technique to some of our own surgeons. This means that we can offer a better surgical intervention to our patients, says Axel Forman, consultant at Aarhus University Hospital and professor at Aarhus University.

The new technique is more complicated, it requires special equipment and bleeding is worse during surgery. But the procedure is gentler to the blood supply and nerve pathways in the intestines and it is expected to give patients a better result.

Aarhus University Hospital performs highly specialised treatment of severe endometriosis at international level. Axel Forman has been the driving force behind the endometriosis activities at Aarhus University Hospital, which is the largest endometriosis centre in Northern Europe with a strong tradition for collaborating with the best endometriosis surgeons in the world.

Horace Roman, professor at Rouen University Hospital in France specialises in minimally invasive endometriosis surgery. He also operates women with rectal endometriosis and he has succeeded in preserving the rectum in approximately 80% of the women he has operated. Horace Roman is an active researcher and has written more than 200 professional contributions to and articles in scientific journals.

- I have met Horace Roman at international conferences and we have agreed on a close collaboration in the coming years where he will come to our hospital and teach us the new technique. We can also send our specialist doctors to Rouen to be educated. We have also agreed to collaborate in research activities and in writing of scientific articles, says Axel Forman.


Facts on intestinal endometriosis

Intestinal endometriosis is a chronic disease where cells and tissue resembling uterine mucosa grow into the intestinal wall. The typical symptoms include: 

  • Severe pain during menstruation
  • Pain when passing stools (especially during menstruation)
  • Pain at sexual intercourse
  • Blood in stools during menstruation
  • Fatigue

The symptoms may resemble symptoms in other diseases (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome). There is often a delay from symptoms appear until the diagnosis is made by a vaginal ultrasound examination or an MR scan.

Use of oral contraceptives, progestin-only pills or an intrauterine device (IUD) possibly combined with a laxative may in some cases relieve the symptoms.

In severe cases it may be necessary to surgically remove the endometriosis tissue, where the surgeon removes the affected part of the intestines.


Further information:

Axel Forman, Consultant, Professor

Department of Gyneacology and Obstetrics, Aarhus University Hospital

Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University

Tel.: +45 3071 4880

E-mail: axelform@rm.dk