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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  • Grace Larsen

    After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…

  • Nicole Novakowski

  • Jacqueline Galindo

    Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…

  • Anna Lu

    Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!

  • Sheena Wright

    I underwent surgery with Dr. Seckin in 2017 and have felt like a new woman ever since. If you have, or suspect you have endometriosis, Dr. Seckin and his compassionate team of surgeons and staff are a must-see.

  • 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…