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Treated With Care: A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy At CIGC

laparoscopic hysterectomy at CIGCThe year before her laparoscopic hysterectomy at CIGC with Paul MacKoul MD, Heather S. started having terrible pain. She couldn’t walk for more than 5 minutes at a time.

“My lower back felt like it was being crushed and the inside of my pelvis felt like it was being shredded. The surgery was performed January 26th, and I’m doing remarkably well.”

Heather’s Case Was Complicated

Heather has a rare genetic condition called Dercum’s Disease. She typically has a routine down for introducing medical professionals to her condition, as it is so rare, few doctors have even heard of it.

“Except I walked into Dr. MacKoul’s office and he already knew what it was. He knew that I was going to be a complicated case, but he also knew what he was going to have to do to make the surgery successful. The condition has mutated my nervous system. I have five to ten times the nerve endings. Everything is surprisingly painful and leads to so many complications. For instance, it takes more medication than normal to knock me out for surgery.”

Getting Everyone Prepared For A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy at CIGC

“I had to get letters from all of my regular doctors for the surgery team. I was impressed by the pre-op nurse. She knew exactly what I needed. The anesthesiologist read everything and he was prepared to make sure that the pain never got ahead of me. Everyone did such good job that my sister in law is having surgery with Dr. MacKoul.”

Heather’s GYN condition was complicated.

“I’ve had irregular periods my entire life. When Dr. MacKoul did the surgery, he found scar tissue and adhesions everywhere. He suspected that I had endometriosis for over 10 years. He felt that something must have snapped or pinched a nerve, which is why I was having so much pain. I had pelvic adhesive resection, and a full hysterectomy with the ovaries removed.”

Rescue Teams Got Heather Through The Blizzard To The Hospital

“My neighborhood got buried in 4 ft of snow. It wasn’t plowed the morning of the surgery. The hospital didn’t have as much snow, so they weren’t prepared to reschedule. Because of my condition, I couldn’t walk for more than a few minutes. My poor mother, knowing how bad my pain had become, was determined that I wasn’t going to miss my surgery. She got the Loudon County Fire and Rescue to come out at four o’clock in the morning! They deserve so much credit for getting me out in time.”

After The Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy

“I started to feel good after a week. To give you an idea of how complicated my underlying condition is, I had a procedure a few years ago to remove a mediport, a simple I/V implant in my chest. I ended up in the hospital for 10 days just for pain control. But, thanks to Dr. MacKoul’s impressive familiarity with my rare condition and his skill with the minimally invasive hysterectomy, I was able to go home the next day.”

“The pelvic pain has gone away since surgery. The incisions were so tiny, they aren’t noticeable. They are barely even there.”

Getting Back To Her Passion

The pain from Dercum’s stopped everything for Heather. In 2014 she was chosen as a fellow in a start-up incubator in Georgetown for small businesses that have social impact. She had started a business that she had been working towards since she was 16.

“When I was 13 the first Harry Potter book came out. All my friends were suddenly really excited about reading again. I thought maybe I could transform that into a love of writing too. Soon after, I started the Daily Prophet, an online fictional newspaper where kids volunteered to be columnists. I ended up tutoring 400 kids worldwide and a few adults in creative writing. With my business, I wanted to replicate the same newspaper writing platform in middle schools. Teachers could create custom newspapers for their classrooms with various templates that capture each student’s pop culture passion using their love of books, movies or video games to develop an equal love for writing. I was getting quite far with it. I had a meeting with Scholastic up in New York last year, but I had to fight through the excruciating pelvic pain to get up there. I finally realized that I couldn’t do it anymore because of the pain. Given my chronic health condition, my health is so fragile anyway. I knew I had to find something where I don’t have to travel much, or chase after venture capitalists for funding to make it happen. Being an entrepreneur is fantastic, but I couldn’t keep risking my health. I realized, I’ve spent so many years sharing my love for writing by helping other writers. Now’s the time to finally focus on my own writing by creating an original novel I’ve been dreaming about for years. Dr. MacKoul has given me the chance to focus on what I love most, without being burdened by so much pain.”


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 J. 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.

Book a consultation today with Paul MacKoul MD or Natalya Danilyants MD.


Vitals, RateMDs, Google Plus, Wellness, and UCompareHealthCare.


Vitals, RateMDs, Google Plus, Wellness, and UCompareHealthCare.


paul j. mackoul

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.