“I had a long history with endometriosis, and had many surgeries with many doctors, and complications that came along with those surgeries,” said Beth R.
Endometriosis kept Beth from living her life, or enjoying any part of it for a long time, including horseback riding for over 2 years.
“I’ve had my horse going on 12 years now. His name is Thunder.”
More than 5M women in the U.S. have endometriosis, a condition where the endometrium (uterus lining) grows beyond the uterus. It can cause severe pain with every monthly cycle. Beth had suffered for over a decade.
“I felt with all the pain, I had to use the energy that I had for the most important things. Unfortunately, going to see my horse wasn’t the most important thing. It was getting up and showering and trying to find a job.”
Endometriosis Can Be Debilitating
Endometriosis by itself can cause extreme pain. Additionally, surgeries to treat endometriosis, if not performed well or if the endometriosis isn’t thoroughly removed, can also cause extreme pain.
Endometrial cells continue to function as though they are still part of the uterine lining. Endometrial tissue grows and thickens with each menstrual cycle, and at the end of the cycle, it breaks down and bleeds every month. The endometrial lining of the uterus exits the body through the vagina during a woman’s period. Endometriotic tissue when it resides elsewhere in the body is trapped. This can cause pain and irritation to the surrounding tissue, sometimes causing scar tissue, adhesions (organs sticking together), and infertility.
Like Beth, some women may have severe debilitating pain, while others have no symptoms at all.
Endometriosis occurs most commonly within the pelvis but has been reported in nearly every other location of the body. Endometriosis on the ovary can cause cysts called endometriomas, which are filled with menstrual debris.
After Endometriosis Surgery
“It seemed like every 2-3 years, I was back having surgery again…My doctor told me that she wasn’t going to touch me ever again surgically, and I needed an advanced laparoscopic surgeon. I Googled ‘Washington DC endometriosis doctors,’ and Dr. MacKoul came up.”
“For the first time we felt that Dr. MacKoul could help us,” said Mary, Beth’s mom. “I know that morning when we went to see Dr. MacKoul, even he agreed with her. He could see the pain in her eyes. He didn’t even hesitate. He said just go straight to the hospital, we’re going to take care of this.”
“I felt back to myself almost immediately versus the other surgeries where I had multiple incisions… Dr. MacKoul and his partners gave me my life back.”
Beth is Literally Back In the Saddle
After endometriosis surgery, Beth has begun to reclaim parts of her life that she had to put on hold.
“The first time I got back on Thunder in 3 years was like riding a bike,” said Beth. “(It has) changed my life for the better in so many ways, I can’t even repay him enough for what he’s given back to me in my life, and my family.”
More About Endometriosis Treatment Options
While Beth had a hysterectomy to treat her severe condition, there are other treatment options available including medical management or surgical management.
- Hysterectomy is considered definitive surgery. While endometriosis cannot be cured, this surgery, along with removal of both ovaries is considered the best long-term pain control.
- Conservative procedures are usually done to preserve the uterus, tubes and ovaries as much as possible for women who want to conceive after endometriosis surgery. Resection of endometriosis involves removing the endometrial implants. CIGC specialists can help with medical management to extend the length of pain control after resection of endometriosis.
- Resection of ovarian endometriomas (cysts of localized endometrial tissue): An endometrioma should be completely removed and not just drained, otherwise there is an 88 percent chance it will return.
DualPortGYN is a technique used by the CIGC specialists for hysterectomy and resection of endometriosis/ovarian endometriomas.
Book a consult with one of our advanced trained laparoscopic GYN surgical specialists, or learn more about Dr. Paul J. MacKoul Md or Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD.