A Complex Case: Thoracic Endo and Catamenial Pneumothorax

A Complex Case: Thoracic Endo and Catamenial Pneumothorax

For 23 years, Latia Lee struggled with periods so bad she would down double doses of Advil and Tylenol. She missed chunks of school and work every month and scheduled events and vacations around her period. But with those periods came unexplained symptoms like chest tightness, shoulder pain, and chest pain. She went on countless doctors visits to OB-GYN’s, pulmonologists and even cardiologists. Still, none had the answer to what ailed her.

That all changed in 2017, when Lee, 38, Googled endometriosis excision specialist in NYC and found world renown endometriosis specialist Dr. Tamer Seckin. “I told Dr. Seckin, I know I have pelvic endometriosis I know I have catamenial pneumothorax I know I have thoracic endometriosis—i just need you to help me.”

Catamenial pneumothorax occurs when a lung collapses in conjunction with a menstrual period. To date, Lee has suffered through four. Thoracic endometriosis occurs when there are endometriosis lesions in the thoracic cavity, which would also explain Lee’s chest tightness.

RELATED: The Woman Was Fit and Healthy, Why Did Her Lung Mysteriously Collapse?

Soon after her initial appointment, Seckin lept into action, and in January 2017, he and a team of six specialists including colorectal surgeon Dr. Parswa Ansari, Thoracic Surgeon Christos Stavropoulos, and Urologist Michael Brodherson combined their expertise to perform a 7-hour long endometriosis excision surgery.

Endometriosis lesions (as later confirmed by pathology) were found in Lee’s lungs, and diaphragm. Next, it was on to the pelvis. Seckin and his team removed endometriosis from Lee’s ureters, and endo had infiltrated her bowels so deeply that she needed a bowel resection. Endo also bound her appendix, ilium, and cecum. She needed an ileocecectomy, or removal of the ileum and part of the colon, as well as an appendectomy.

After the procedure, Seckin met with Lee and confirmed she had Stage IV Endometriosis. But he said, “If there was a Stage V or Stage VI [Endometriosis] that would be you.”

With 23 years of pain and suffering behind her, today, Lee, a registered nurse at Weill Cornell Medicine, says she feels like a new woman and is already looking forward to the next chapter.

“If I can’t have a baby,” shares Lee, “then I’ll adopt. I definitely want to be a mom.”

Lee is just one of Dr. Seckin’s patients who suffer from thoracic endometriosis and catamenial pneumothorax. New York Times Magazine recently profiled Dr. Seckin for a 5-hour long operation that he performed with Dr. Byron Patton, a thoracic surgeon, on a patient who suffered from catamenial pneumothorax so terribly she carried an oxygen tank with her.

 

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Patient Reviews

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  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…

  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…