Hi Michelle, I think it's important that Chelsea asks to be referred back to one of the accredited centres.
Can I ask when she had her laparoscopy was it diagnostic only or did they also remove endo? If they did remove endo did they excise (cut it out) or burn it?
The reason why I ask is that some surgeons still use a laser to burn the endo (a laser can also be used for cutting though for reference). Burning the endo is not considered as effective as cutting it out as in effect it is only removing the top and not removing it from the root meaning it is more likely to grow back - much like a weed. Unfortunately I have read comments on this very forum that has led me to believe that some of the endo centres still rely on burning the endo as opposed to excising it. It is easier to do as it requires less skill. Therefore it is important to check with the surgeon how he removes endo.
Endo is a very complex disease, much more complex than it is given credit for. Each treatment option carries it own pros and cons.
With regards to hormonal based treatments that in effect put a women's body into a temporary menopause (Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues such as Zoladex) the side effects for some can be unpleasant (they were for me!) and women should not really be placed on these for any longer than 6 months as it can have detrimental effects on bone density. Low doses of HRT may counteract the unpleasant side effects experienced by some but HRT (as with all medications) is not without some risks and ultimately as endo is widely believed to be oestrogen driven can in effect feed the Endo. Furthermore such treatment tends to merely dampen down the symptoms and the symptoms return after treatment is ceased because the endo is still there - it hasn't been removed.
With regards to surgery excision is considered the gold standard. As mentioned earlier it is important to ask the surgeon how he will remove the endo. Also it's important women ask questions, even interview the surgeon! Ultimately you are placing a lot of trust in the surgeon and paying his/her salary so you have the right to do so.
The other thing to bear in mind is that understandably surgeons can be reluctant to operate on someone still quite young because surgery carries risk. Perhaps the biggest concern is that the more surgery a woman has the more chance there is of scar tissue and adhesions forming which in themselves cause pain. That's why it important to reduce the number of surgeries a woman suffering from endo has in their lifetime by ensuring you find the best excision surgeon available to you and looking after yourself the best you can.
Janine33 mentioned the endo diet and I concur with her that this, combined with a daily exercise routine and reducing stress levels where possible can make a difference. It has in the past reduced my symptoms greatly and held the worst at bay for about 5 years. Unfortunately my regime went to pot for about a year whilst I was project managing our self-build and working 7 days a week, 14+ hours per day and eating whatever I had time to eat which really took its toll on my health. I am now 4 wks post op from major excision surgery and a hysterectomy (the hysterectomy was for adenomyosis only NOT endo) and plan on sticking to the diet and resuming my excercise regime as soon as physically possible.
And finally I understand Chelsea may not want to research endo or participate on these forums herself at the moment. I was first diagnosed when I was around your daughters age now. I'm now 39. When I was first diagnosed I found others' stories both distressing and depressing and to begin with the more I learnt about this horrid disease the more hopeless and helpless I felt.
However, a few years later I finally came to realise that it was necessary to educate myself about endo because I too was being told there is nothing else we can do except offer a hysterectomy or strong painkillers like Tramadol. This was at the age of 32 and after having 4 surgeries and trying all the pills and hormone treatments they threw at me, often with little information about what they were doing to me.
It was then that I dug deep to find my inner strength and resolved myself to being an active participant in my treatment plan and I would encourage all endo sufferers to do the same. Your daughter undoubtedly has the strength to do so. I think most women with severe endo symptoms do otherwise they just wouldn't survive and endure all that they have to. Taking control of your own treatment plan can be both liberating and empowering. Your daughter is lucky to have your support and with it she too will find the strength to manage her endo.
I hope this helps and please feel free to ask any questions. I wish you both the best, Jo