This Is My Recovery: When Mom Needs GYN Surgery
For women experiencing severe symptoms from complex GYN conditions, the pain often gets in the way of everyday activities and responsibilities. Whether you’re missing work, canceling appointments or finding it difficult to care for others, GYN conditions can seriously limit your quality of life. Despite how it may feel at times, none of this is normal.
Many women have a tendency to put themselves last on their priority list, especially if they have children or other family members to care for. But when it comes to your health, you need to be on your own list — and not at the bottom. It’s much harder to care for others when you’re struggling to take care of yourself. For CIGC patient Maria, this was especially true.
ON THIS PAGE:
- Taking Care of Endometriosis: Maria’s Story
- State-of-the-Art GYN Surgical Techniques
- Put Yourself on Your Priority List: A Caregiver’s Recovery
Taking Care of Endometriosis: Maria’s Story
Maria has a 14-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy who depends on her for basic needs. Because her daughter can’t walk unassisted, Maria maintains a high level of physical fitness in order to be able to lift her daughter and help her to get around. She regularly goes on runs with her dog, Archie, and leads an active lifestyle.
In March 2020, Maria began to experience excruciating pelvic pain. She’s had endometriosis for the past 20 years, so she knew that was likely the cause of her pain.
“My pain was an 18. It was not even on the scale — that’s how bad it was,” Maria said.
She had a few bad experiences with physicians who told her the condition was too extensive to operate on effectively without potentially compromising the functioning of her bowel and other pelvic organs. Some doctors dismissed her level of pain and told her she was overreacting. She was prescribed medications that didn’t work and left all of her doctor’s appointments feeling even more hopeless. And then she stumbled upon The Center for Innovative GYN Care during a Google search late one night.
State-of-the-Art GYN Surgical Techniques
Maria does medical literature research and editing for a living, and a client mentioned new treatments for endometriosis that sounded promising. A quick Google search led her to CIGC’s website, where she pored over the published research on CIGC’s advanced technique for minimally invasive hysterectomy, called the DualPortGYN technique. The next morning, she spoke to a CIGC patient advocate and booked a telemedicine consultation with CIGC co-founder Dr. Paul MacKoul.
“When I spoke to Dr. MacKoul for the first time, I had a notebook with me full of notes and questions,” Maria said. “He was extremely patient and thoroughly answered all of my questions. I knew I finally had hope that I was not going to be in pain anymore. Dr. MacKoul explained I would only need three small incisions (each less than 5 millimeters long), which was amazing considering the other doctors told me they would do a full across-the-belly cut. This sped up healing and reduced post-op pain considerably.”
She had a minimally invasive complete hysterectomy with Dr. MacKoul in May. He removed her uterus and ovaries along with excising stage 4 endometriosis throughout her pelvis. Maria had her procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the virus was the last thing on her mind.
“After speaking with Dr. MacKoul and his staff, I just felt like this is safe,” she said. “This is a responsible, professional, caring group of people with state-of-the-art technology. I didn’t give it a second thought. COVID wasn’t even a concern. This is the time to get surgery. You’re not going to find a cleaner or safer place.”
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Put Yourself on Your Priority List: A Caregiver’s Recovery
Like many caregivers thinking about getting surgery, Maria was concerned about how the recovery would affect her ability to care for her daughter with special needs. Because her surgery was so extensive, her recovery took a little longer than usual. But the difference in how she feels now compared to how she felt before the surgery is significant — life-changing.
“I was in so much pain that I would have done almost anything to get the surgery,” Maria said. “Not only was the pain debilitating, but I couldn’t take care of my daughter. I needed to get better — and fast.”
After a slower recovery, she’s able to care for her daughter and she’s back to her regular jogging routine. She and Archie often ran up a hill near her house, but while she was experiencing so much pain before her surgery, the hill was off limits. She remembers exactly how she felt when she was able to jog up that hill again.
“I got to the top of the hill with Archie and I started to cry,” she said. “Because I could finally do it again.”
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CIGC is dedicated to helping women find relief from complex GYN conditions. The CIGC founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Paul MacKoul, MD, and Natalya Danilyants, MD, developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind.
Their personalized approach to care helps patients gain a better understanding of their condition and the recommended treatment so they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed more than 25,000 GYN procedures and are constantly striving to improve outcomes for patients.