Thank You For A Wonderful Year: Patient Stories of 2015
The past year has been remarkable for The Center for Innovative GYN Care.
Many of our patients have kindly shared their stories about their incredible recoveries after surgery in blog posts, interviews with the media, and with family and friends. Several have undertaken their own advocacy efforts with research and support groups for endometriosis, fibroids and other GYN conditions.
As we look back at the year, we are struck by how these women are all looking ahead. Here are their stories of how their lives have changed for the better. We couldn’t be more grateful for their continued support in helping other women find us so that we can help them get back to living their lives.
Thank you to all of our patients and Happy New Year!
A Look Back at CIGC Patient Stories of 2015
Heidi decided she needed to be her own advocate. Her tenacity in her research led her to Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD at CIGC. She wanted to avoid having a more invasive robotic procedure with a power morcellator.
“I decided I didn’t want that,” said Heidi. “I just felt like I had to be my own advocate. So I searched the Internet and happened upon a new type of hysterectomy called DualPortGYN. Something so drastically different than what I had been told I had to have.”
Helene suffered with fibroids for over 20 years. Painful periods and extreme bleeding controlled her life. Back pain, pelvic pain, headaches from the anemia. After multiple prior surgeries, nothing ever worked. One doctor told her that his best advice was to have a hysterectomy. “I said thanks, but no thanks, and I walked out,” said Helene.
After a cyst ruptured on her right ovary, she ended up in emergency surgery. Her doctor told her after that, the only doctor she wanted her to see was Dr. MacKoul. “I didn’t come across a specialist until I met Dr. MacKoul.”
Helene decided to try fibroid removal surgery with the LAAM procedure at CIGC. The uterine sparing minimally invasive myomectomy allowed her to move on with her life and go back to school, and travel to Africa with her father.
When Brenda met Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD, she found out that minimally invasive surgery is possible for women with large fibroids. She was told by other doctors that because of the size of the fibroid, she would have to have open surgery. The recovery for open procedures can last 6-8 weeks.
“I had perfect attendance for 18 years, and it was a sense of pride and I just wanted to get back to work as soon as I could, and get back into my regular routine,” said Brenda. “I didn’t like the idea of a full large incision and the recovery time.”
“Now I don’t have that pain any longer, and it’s a different world for me… I have so much more energy. I’ve lost weight and I’ve made a whole lifestyle change. You don’t have to be the person who gets the full incisio
For several years, Ljubica and her husband had tried fertility treatments unsuccessfully.
“After 3 failed attempts at trying to conceive a child, you begin to emotionally prepare yourself for the possibility that it may never happen,” said Ljubica. “Even with the heartache of the treatments not working, my gut told me to get the polyp removed, even though my fertility doctor said it wasn’t necessary.”
After she had a LAAM procedure for her fibroid and then the subsequent polyp removal, Ljubica was finally ready to begin the more expensive IVF treatments. In Ljubica’s case, additional treatments were unnecessary.
After both surgeries, Ljubica was cleared to begin IVF treatments in February. While IVF has better rates of success than IUI, it is also 10x more expensive. That requires planning and choosing the right time. For Ljubica and her husband, they decided that April would be when the treatments would start. However, by the end of March, Ljubica was already pregnant with Aleksandra.
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 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.”
“The first time I got back on (my horse) Thunder in 3 years since having my hysterectomy…felt like riding a bike. Now I have that back.”
“For years I saw the same doctor, waiting and watching my fibroids grow, and for a while, the pain wasn’t altering my daily activities. But then, the pain got progressively worse. I found myself in bed, crying in pain.”
From The Baltimore Times: “I actually had a date scheduled to have a hysterectomy done,” recalled (Rashetta) Fairnot. “But I cancelled it because I was uneasy about it and it didn’t settle well in my spirit. I also wasn’t comfortable with such an open surgery. A friend of mine told me about Dr. Paul MacKoul and a procedure he had performed on her called myomectomy. She strongly advised that I have a consultation with Dr. MacKoul at The Center for Innovative GYN Care.”
“The night before surgery, I was so nervous. I was having a freak out moment. I called the emergency line and Dr. MacKoul happened to be the one who answered. He told me to relax, go to bed, and he would see me at the hospital in the morning. He was very reassuring.”
“I planned to be off for 2 weeks, and I can work from home, so while I stayed home for 3 weeks, I was back working after 2. That was a far cry from the 2-3 months the other doctor told me. The first couple of days after a myomectomy are painful. And I needed someone to be at home with me for that.”
“You would never know I had fibroid surgery,” said Gwen T, fibroids patient at The Center for Innovative GYN Care. “You can’t even see where the incisions were. Even speaking about it four years later, it makes me happy.”
Gwen consulted Dr. MacKoul about the pelvic pain that coincided with her monthly cycle. Describing her symptoms, Dr. MacKoul realized that she most likely had fibroids pressing on a nerve. An ultrasound confirmed it.
“I have no scars. Some women are scared about big scars, but patients considering surgery need to know that I had no drainage, and went home with 2 small bandages. I was back to work in four days!”
So many women have conditions that require a specialist, but very few can perform minimally invasive surgery for complex GYN conditions. Patients travel from around the world to CIGC. These are some of the patient story highlights from women who have traveled for surgery with Dr. Danilyants and Dr. MacKoul.
We wish all of our patients a healthy, pain-free year full of new opportunities. All the best in 2016!
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GYN surgical specialists can often see women sooner because they are focused entirely on surgery. Each patient gets detailed, in depth attention from Dr. Natalya Danilyants and Dr. Paul MacKoul. This personalized care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.
CIGC TRAVEL PROGRAM
Even if you are not from the DC area, many patients travel to The Center for Innovative GYN Care for our groundbreaking procedures. We treat women from around the world who suffer from complex GYN conditions.
Learn more in our travel program.