Like Local 3 News on Facebook:
An estimated 200 million women worldwide suffers from a disease so painful it threatens her fertility, her sex life and her overall well-being. But there is relief out there for those with endometriosis.
Michelle Joyce looks back on fun times and the pain.
She says, “I started out having heavy periods. There were times when I just couldn’t get out of bed. The pain was so severe.”
She struggled from doctor to doctor before the answer came.
Dr. Ken Sinervo, Medical Dir. of the Center for Endometriosis Care, explains, “Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus; causing pelvic pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, bowel and bladder symptoms as well as infertility.”
Patients are often misdiagnosed.
Dr. Sinervo adds, “There is a very long delay with diagnosis averaging between nine and 12 years.”
But once doctors are sure what the problem is, a Co2 laser can be used to remove the disease while sparing healthy tissue.
Dr. Sinervo explains, “So you can use that and use it safely for excision over very vital structures. Underneath the ovaries, behind the uterus, over the bladder.”
Dr. Sinervo says the traditional ablation procedure burns and destroys the tissue and laparoscopic excision is much more effective.
He continues, “With well performed excision performed by an expert the recurrence rate could be as little as five or ten percent.”
The Co2 procedure can take several hours but the impact is immediate.
Joyce says, “When I woke up and I didn’t feel that pain anymore, it’s indescribable.”
She’s already living an active life with her daughters that she worried would never again be possible.
She adds, “I feel like I’m going to be turning over a new leaf of a pain-free life.”
And giving other women hope for a healthier future. The Lumenis Co2 excision laser procedure is covered by some insurance companies but can cost thousands of dollars.