Endometriosis can implant in distant places like the upper abdomen, diaphragm or even lung cavity. We think that holes or pores are developed in the diaphragm which then allows passage of the cells into the thoracic cavity.

Patients may experience chest pain before their period or with day 2 or 3 of their cycle, or some may experience this accented at the time of ovulation. They may also feel “crackling” or bubbling sensation in their chest or upper abdomen.

In extreme cases lung collapse or “catamenial pneumothorax” can occur on one lung (typically the Right side). Patients may feel a sudden difficulty taking a deep breath, walking a block or climbing stairs. They will often still present with normal or low normal oxygen levels because the remaining lung is doing all the work.

This can feel like a deep pressure or elephant sitting on their chest causing them to be unable to breath normally. It obviously is an emergency and is imperative they are seen right away in order to diagnose it and have a chest tube placed if necessary.

Surgery for these cases is done by Dr Goldstein with an expert trained cardiothoracic surgeon experienced in endometriosis. Both surgeons evaluate the patient and counsel them separately before the surgery and work together as a team to provide state of the art care for diaphragmatic endometriosis.