Brittany (30) from Herndon, Virginia had been trying to conceive for four years before coming to CIGC for minimally invasive cyst removal. During surgery, it was discovered she had also been suffering from endometriosis and bowel adhesions. Endometriosis is known to cause infertility as endometrial tissue can affect the ovaries and quality of eggs, and can create toxicity in the lining. After GYN surgery, Brittany got pregnant within a month.
“My daughter is 3 years old now. She is happy, healthy and perfect. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the carefulness of the surgery, and being able to keep my ovary and returning to normal within days. I didn’t think that I would end up keeping my ovary and didn’t know if I could ever get pregnant on my own. When that test came back positive my world changed all for the better.” Brittany said.
Endometriosis affects millions of women, and for many it takes years to get diagnosed. The primary symptom of endometriosis is intense pelvic pain with the menstrual cycle, which can be constant, or it can progress. Women who suffer with severe symptoms every month have a hard time at home, work or school, and they are often seen as unreliable. It can become difficult to explain to teachers or bosses why you repeatedly need time off for a few days each month.
Endometriosis pain is often confused with regular menstrual cramping and symptoms are dismissed in doctor’s offices. The longer it takes to get a diagnosis & treatment, the more damage can occur. Endometriosis causes inflammation and scarring which primarily affects the pelvis, but lesions can spread to other areas of the body. It takes an experienced specialist to recognize the signs and to deliver a proper diagnosis. Thorough excision of all instances of endometriosis is essential to alleviate symptoms and achieve long-term relief.
It is fueled by estrogen.
It primarily creates lesions within the pelvic cavity, but has also been found in other areas of the body like the abdominal cavity, the lungs and the brain.
Endometriosis can be deep within the tissue and it can affect nerves.
Lesions must be thoroughly removed through excision to alleviate symptoms.
Endometriosis can cause pelvic adhesions and cysts to develop.
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
Why some women develop endometriosis and others do not is a mystery. That makes it harder for general medical practitioners to diagnose the condition early, which is important in order to minimize the damage to the reproductive system. Endometriosis specialists have a more complete understanding of the disease, the symptoms, and the damage it can cause.
The DualPortGYN approach was developed by CIGC minimally invasive GYN surgeonsNatalya Danilyants MD and Paul MacKoul MD and it uses just two 5 MM incisions. The surgeon who operates is able to see the entire pelvic cavity in order to achieve thorough removal so all instances of endometriosis are removed. The incisions are located in the midline of the abdomen and pelvis, avoiding the muscles, which reduces post-operative pain. Women go home the same day and are usually back to work within 1 week after DualPortGYN surgery.
Endometriosis symptoms can start as early as teen years and are often dismissed by medical professionals. It currently takes an average of 10 years for a woman to get diagnosed. Talking about the condition to increase awareness and educate the medical community is essential to help women manage the disease. Early diagnosis is important to help achieve a better quality of life and maintain the ability to conceive. Although there is no cure, hysterectomy has proven to alleviate symptoms and is often considered as treatment.
“I had a complete laparoscopic hysterectomy. After surgery with Dr. Danilyants I could tell this time was different. Nothing is slowing me down now, it doesn’t seem like I’m juggling a lot of things. I feel jubilant! Now, I can do anything! ” said Dorran, after her surgery with Dr. Natalya Danilyants. You can read her story here.
“In October 2013 I had my last surgery to remove scar tissue and endometriosis excision to prepare for IVF. I look over to my son Landon right now tearing up and smiling. We are beyond blessed with a beautiful healthy baby boy.” said Janelle, who was able to conceive after minimally invasive endometriosis excision. You can read her story here.
Many of our patients travel from out-of-town and from out-of-country for advanced minimally invasive GYN surgery at CIGC. Women who don’t have minimally invasive treatment options for their GYN condition closer to home can now benefit from CIGC’s groundbreaking techniques through our travel program. Innovative procedures like DualPortGYN and LAAM were developed by Paul MacKoul and Natalya Danilyants to improve surgical outcomes for patients and to help them recover faster.
GYN surgery for complex conditions like large fibroids and extensive endometriosis is now possible with only 2 small incisions and recovery in less than 2 weeks. Many times women are recommended open or robotic surgery and this is not longer necessary with advanced laparoscopic techniques.
We want to make traveling for GYN surgery from long distances as seamless as possible. Read about CIGC’s travel program and contact us online or at 888-SURGERY to book an appointment. CIGC has offices in Rockville, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston VA.
Many CIGC patients struggling to conceive have found that GYN surgery for conditions like fibroids or endometriosis can often clear the path to motherhood. Fibroids affect up to 80% of women and they can interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive and carry to term. Endometriosis affects more than 5 million women in the U.S. and it is the leading cause of female infertility. Fertility investments can be expensive and it is important to diagnose and treat GYN conditions early in order to prevent future damage.
CIGC patient Michelle had been struggling with rectal bleeding with her cycle before coming to see us. Her symptoms were getting progressively worse for nearly 3 years. She saw a general practitioner, a gastroenterologist and an OB/GYN and none of them was able to recognize the signs of endometriosis. They dismissed her symptoms and could not provide treatment. Michelle was in great pain, feeling hopeless and desperate.
2015 has been a remarkable year for The Center for Innovative GYN Care. Many of our patients have shared their experience dealing with complex GYN conditions and finding relief after minimally invasive GYN surgery. As we look back, we are amazed by how many lives have changed for the better and we are so grateful for their continued support in helping others find us. Thank you to all of our patients!
At a routine checkup, Heidi was given the diagnosis of potentially cancerous fibroids. She was frightened as she was recommended a complete hysterectomy with robotic surgery, using power morcellation. Heidi decided to seek a second opinion and could not believe she found something so drastically better at CIGC. Read Heidi’s story.
For several years, Ljubica and her husband had tried fertility treatments unsuccessfully and after 3 failed attempts, they were starting to get discouraged. It turned out she required surgery to remove a fibroid and uterine polyp before beginning IVF. Ljubica had a LAAM procedure for her fibroid and a subsequent polyp removal. She got pregnant naturally shortly after the procedure. Read Ljubica’s story
Rashetta found out she had fibroids in college. For years, she saw the same doctor who advised to wait and watch, only her pain got progressively worse. The fibroids continued to grow and she actually had a date scheduled to have a hysterectomy, which she cancelled. Rashetta met with Dr. Paul MacKoul and ended up getting the LAAM procedure. Read more of Rashetta’s story in this Blog and in The Baltimore Times
Patients travel from all around the country for CIGC’s advanced minimally invasive procedures. So many women have complex GYN conditions that require a specialist, but very few can perform minimally invasive surgery. Read some of our travel patient stories from women who have traveled for surgery with Paul MacKoul MD and Natalya Danilyants MD:
Endometriosis is a complex, often misunderstood GYN condition. The number of medical professionals who are experienced at diagnosing and skilled at effectively removing endometriosis are limited and the need for research, awareness and better medical training is great. Many leaders in women’s reproductive health still fall short when it comes to championing the advancement of endometriosis research, medical training and awareness. However, one group is directing a great deal of energy to ensuring that endometriosis gets the attention is deserves. The Endometriosis Foundation of America efforts are multi-faceted.
EFA founders Dr. Tamer Seckin and Padma Lakshmi have taken the cause to heart. Dr. Seckin travels across the United States and abroad giving lectures, and teaching the art and science of endometriosis surgery. Ms. Lakshmi speaks publicly about her experience through an array of channels including mass media, political arenas, and public events, allowing her to reach a wide audience.
CIGC is working closely with endometriosis awareness organizations to ensure that our patients have access to the support they need, and have the most up-to-date information about the most effective minimally invasive endometriosis removal to manage pain, bleeding and infertility.
Advancements in minimally invasive GYN surgery have led to a significant increase in outpatient procedures. A lot of these procedures are performed in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), providing high quality outpatient surgical and preventive care at a much lower cost. A growing trend over the last decade has been the decline in inpatient hospital stays, which carry more risks & costs and offer no benefit to the patient over outpatient procedures.
Recovering from minimally invasive GYN surgery in the comfort of your home means reducing the risks of infection as well as the overall cost of surgery. Learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive GYN surgery in outpatient settings in this recent Tumblr blog: Paul MacKoul MD Explains the Benefits of Outpatient GYN Surgery
When you are ready to go over your options, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online to book a consult. If you are an out-of-town patient, visit our travel program page.
If you have suffered from pelvic pain for an extended period of time without knowing the cause, a diagnostic laparoscopy might be indicated. Women who are misdiagnosed can go through several rounds of wrong treatment, costing them time, money and possibly even worse consequences on their overall health.
If a patient has endometriosis, which is the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain, diagnostic tools like ultrasound, CT or MRI may not be able to detect the nature or severity of the condition. A diagnostic laparoscopy allows for a small thin camera to be inserted into the abdomen where the entire pelvis can be inspected and suspicious lesions can be resected for a diagnosis.
MANAGEMENT OF ENDOMETRIOSIS
Endometriosis is a unique GYN condition, hard to manage medically. Management of pain from endometriosis can be done with the help of with analgesics and hormonal suppression, which is used to treat symptoms. This however does nothing to improve fertility, treat adhesions, or resolve endometriomas.
Depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s desire to preserve fertility, hysterectomy does not have to be the only option. Endometriosis removal is conservative surgery, focusing on removing endometriosis and improving symptoms, while preserving the uterus, tubes and ovaries as much as possible. This approach improves pain, but it does not cure endometriosis.
Hysterectomy with or without removal of the ovaries is for women who do not desire fertility or for women for whom conservative surgery has failed. Performing a hysterectomy will remove the uterus, and can often prevent endometriosis from returning. However, if the endometriosis has spread beyond the immediate pelvic area, or if endometriotic lesions or endometriomas are missed, there is a chance that it will continue to spread.
Endometriosis is a painful and complicated GYN condition. Getting diagnosed early is important and for patients who are found NOT to have endometriosis, the diagnostic laparoscopy may help avoid a long course of medical therapy directed toward the wrong diagnosis.