Traveling For An Advanced Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Surgeon
Kimberly B., Dallas, TX CIGC Hysterectomy Travel Patient
“I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2003 when I was 23,” said Kimberly B. of Dallas, TX. “I had been having pain for a while, and I had laparoscopic surgery with my doctor that removed the implants from my uterus, and he had given me the Lupron shot.”
Endometriosis excision surgery is the gold standard procedure for treating endometriosis, but must be performed by an experienced endometriosis specialist to avoid pelvic adhesions, and damage to delicate structures in the pelvic cavity.
Fast forward a few years later.
“We went through years of fertility treatments and we had a couple of miscarriages, and then we decided to give my body a break. We also moved out of state. I noticed at first the pain wasn’t as bad as before, but I started thinking my endometriosis had grown back. At that point, we had wanted to start trying for a baby again, but the pain was getting worse. I saw my gynecologist and he brushed me off.”
Then things got worse.
“One night in December 2014, I started getting a really bad pain on my right side, and my husband had to take me to the ER. I had a big complex ovarian cyst. The ER doctors told me to follow up with my gynecologist, who brushed me off again. I decided I needed to find a specialist. I found one here in my area. They did some ultrasounds and some tests, and they were a little more complex in their imaging and listened to me. This had been about 3 months after my visit to the ER. I had surgery in May 2015, and was scraped pretty clean. I had masses on the left and right ovary. After that surgery, I was in a tremendous amount of pain. At that point, the specialist also said that he thought I had adenomyosis. My endometriosis was also some of the worst he’d ever seen.”
“That was a long recovery. Even though my cycle was screwed up, my doctor said if I wanted to have kids, now would be the time. I went to see a fertility specialist who performed a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). The HSG showed that my fallopian tubes were damaged: One was mangled and one was blocked.
That’s when the severity of her condition hit Kimberly. It would be hard for her to conceive a child naturally, but worse, there was a high risk of her not being able to carry a child to term.
Endometriosis can ravage a woman’s reproductive system. The implants can cause inflammation which can create adhesions between organs within the pelvis or affect the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis in the ovaries can cause endometriomas that affect ovarian function. Other ovarian cysts can also grow very large, and unless treated or go away on their own, they can damage the ovary. Adenomyosis is an extremely painful condition where endometrial cells grow into the wall of the uterus. With all three of these conditions, Kimberly had to make a decision.
“The pain was so bad sometimes, I felt like I was going to pass out, throw up or both. In January, I started bleeding heavily in a way I had never done before. Twenty-four hours after I went to the emergency room. The results from that visit showed that I was within the normal blood volume range. They told me to follow-up with my gynecologist. He couldn’t see me for almost a week. I saw another GYN at another office, and she gave me some medication, but the bleeding hadn’t stopped by Wednesday. I called the GYN and she asked if I had passed out, I said no, but I felt lightheaded. She told me to go to the emergency room.”
Kimberly had lost so much blood she needed 4 volumes of blood to replace what she had lost.
“It was the icing on the cake. At this point, I couldn’t have children, I was in so much pain, and now almost bleeding to death. I knew it was time to have my uterus removed.”
FINDING THE BEST LAPAROSCOPIC HYSTERECTOMY SURGEON
“The specialist that I had seen before decided not to take insurance any longer. My current doctor didn’t feel comfortable doing the surgery herself. I appreciated her honesty, because I was already nervous about the idea of having a hysterectomy. She referred me to an oncology surgeon, but he couldn’t see me for 2 months.”
Kimberly couldn’t wait, but choosing the best laparoscopic hysterectomy surgeon was extremely important to her. That’s when she started to do online research and discovered Natalya Danilyants MD at The Center for Innovative GYN Care.
“The Center for Innovative GYN Care popped up in my newsfeed on Facebook, probably because I’d been searching online for hysterectomy surgery. I liked how detailed the website was and how much information was on there. Since I couldn’t find what I was looking for in Texas, I took a chance and called. The scheduler was able get me in to see Dr. Danilyants in a couple of weeks.”
At CIGC, our advanced trained specialists focus solely on minimally invasive GYN surgery using state-of-the-art techniques. The procedures are all performed in an outpatient setting, so patients return home the same day. CIGC is a specialty practice, which means they are able to focus on patients with complex conditions and see them sooner.
OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF HYSTERECTOMY SURGERY
Too many women have had, or know women who have had, extensive complications due to procedures performed by non-specialists. In 2006, Kimberly’s mom had an experimental hysterectomy that led to many complications which resulted in her dying during a later operation. Having a hysterectomy was not an easy decision for Kimberly to make.
“All of the women in my family have had endometriosis and fibroids. My mom had major problems with fibroids. She needed to have several transfusions. She let it go too long, and she ultimately decided that she needed to have a hysterectomy to survive. The surgeon that she found wasn’t her normal gynecologist. He used the DaVinci machine, which wasn’t well understood and new to the market at the time. He decided he wanted to play with the machine and test it out on her, even though he told her she wasn’t a good candidate for machine use. It was so new, a rep from the robot manufacturer was there in the surgery with the doctor. The hysterectomy took 9 hours.”
Length of time under anesthesia can cause severe complications for patients. Blood clots or other circulatory problems are a primary concern, as well as respiratory problems, nerve damage, and facial swelling from being in an inverted position for an extended period of time.
“The surgery took so long, and he didn’t know what he was doing. As a result, my mother ended up with complete loss of her kidneys and had to be put on dialysis, and developed foot drop. She had a brace on her leg. One day, she got up and tripped and broke her leg. It never healed, and kept getting infected. She lost part of her leg below the knee to amputation. She also ended up with a life-threatening hernia in her abdomen. After years of pain, countless surgeries, several days of dialysis each week, loss of her leg, and confinement to a wheelchair, she died during the hernia surgery at the age of 54.”
“After going through all of that, it was really important to me to find a doctor who really knew what they were doing, because I didn’t want to end up with permanent, life-altering complications like my mother.”
TRAVELING TO CIGC FOR DUALPORTGYN MINIMALLY INVASIVE HYSTERECTOMY
“I was confident in Dr. Danilyants, but before deciding to travel, I was worried about how bad I would feel, and scared about dealing with the pain on the flight home. But, those worries were for nothing. I felt really good, even the day of the surgery. I didn’t even go back to sleep that day, I sat up when I got back to my hotel room, and actually flew home a day earlier than planned (2 days later). The staff at the surgery center was great, and a nurse followed up the next day. I am really happy that I decided to go ahead with coming to CIGC. It was a little uncomfortable on the plane, but it wasn’t bad. That made it a lot easier to travel. Whatever they do differently worked..”
“I tend to take a lot longer to heal because of health issues, but all in all, by the 2nd week, I was already doing housework. At about the 3-week mark, I was feeling really good. I took off some extra time because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle certain job responsibilities yet. Compared to the ladies in the Facebook hysterectomy support groups that I’m a part of, I was doing a thousand times more than the other women on there. It was a great decision to go to CIGC.”
BOOK A CONSULTATION
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. The CIGC founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. 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 understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed more than 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.