What’s the difference between a consultant and a specialist? How do I know who I will be seeing?
Consultants are the most senior grade of hospital doctors and are responsible for leading a team. Specialists or Specialty doctors (SAS Doctors) will have had at least 4 years of post-graduate training including at least 2 in their specialty.
Consultant gynaecologists will be the doctors looking after patients with endometriosis.
In most hospital gynaecology departments, the doctors will have had training in diagnosing endometriosis and will be able to offer treatment for less severe forms of it, where the disease is minimal or ‘superficial’ (which means it doesn’t penetrate deeply into the tissues).
If the disease is particularly deep or if it affects organs like the bowel, bladder or the ureters (the tubes which pass urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the patient should be under the care of a specialist multi-disciplinary team of doctors who have had advanced training in cutting out (excising) endometriosis from these different places. The team will work together to remove as much disease as possible whilst the patient is under general anaesthetic. These teams can only be found in certain hospitals.
Someone under 18 may be referred to a paediatric gynaecologist.