CIGC’s hysterectomy patient Heather S. from Ashburn, VA is dealing with a rare genetic condition called Dercum’s Disease. Pain associated with this disease is caused by growths consisting of fatty tissue that press on nearby nerves and it can be severe.
“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.” she said.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE GYN SURGERY AT CIGC
Heather came to us with severe GYN symptoms. She had a laparoscopic hysterectomy and is doing well. Her case however was complicated. Before having her surgery, she was in terrible pain and could not 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.” Heather said.
The hysterectomy showed Heather had been suffering from endometriosis for years.
“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.”
Because of the blizzard in January, Heather almost didn’t make it to the hospital.
“My neighborhood got buried in 4 ft of snow. 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!”
FEELING BETTER AFTER DUALPORTGYN HYSTERECTOMY
After her minimally invasive hysterectomy, Heather’s pain started to go away.
“The pelvic pain has gone away since surgery. 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 incisions aren’t noticeable, they are barely even there.”
At CIGC, we perform laparoscopic hysterectomy using the DualPortGYN technique: two 5 MM incisions and 1 week recovery time. Because of the minimally invasive approach and location of the incisions (between the abdominal muscles), pain and bleeding is avoided and women get back to themselves faster.
HEATHER’S PASSION & GETTING BACK TO HERSELF
Heather also shared with us some details about her passion and being able to get back to what she loves.
“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.”
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
If you would like to book a consultation to discuss you GYN symptoms with minimally invasive GYN surgeons of CIGC Paul MacKoul MD and Natalya Danilyants MD, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. CIGC has offices in Bethesda, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA. Patients who reside outside the Washington DC area can look into our travel program.