Actress Kym Jackson Shares Her IVF Nightmare and Endometriosis Surgery

Actress Kym Jackson Shares Her IVF Nightmare and Endometriosis Surgery

NCIS:Los Angeles actress Kym Jackson will never forget the moment she first heard the word endometriosis.

It was June 2017, and Jackson, then 35, decided to be proactive about family planning and begin the process of egg retrieval and egg freezing at a fertility clinic in her native Sydney, Australia.

"I went in for my transvaginal ultrasound," she recalls. As she and a sonographer visualized an ovary, Jackson spotted a weird shadow. "I said, 'Is that a big follicle?' And she said, "No, no, no. That's your endometriosis." And I was like, "My what now?"

Jackson was even more shocked to learn she had the cysts in both ovaries, but the clinic persuaded her to continue with egg-retrieval, anyway, rather than pursue an official diagnosis and treatment with an endometriosis specialist.

It was a surreal moment. Until that point, Jackson says she lived a largely asymptomatic life while endometriosis silently invaded her reproductive system. Save for a nasty endo flare-up that landed her in an Urgent Care, periods were a "two-Advil-job."

"I was like, well, I'll just freeze as many eggs as I can and try to do what I can to shrink the cysts."

She went on a two-weeklong stretch of hormones to stimulate her ovaries. Egg retrieval was successful, and she continued with life, hopping on a plane bound for America to film new biopic, Wish Man. To reign in period pain and pelvic pain stemming from the cysts, she adapted an endo-friendly diet that eliminated dairy and gluten. With her endo pains diminished, she shrugged off going to an OB-GYN for a follow-up.

In February 2018, during a second visit to the clinic to freeze more eggs, Jackson learned that the scary cysts she saw in her ovaries had doubled in size—likely due to the hormone stimulation she underwent during the first round.

Still, her fertility specialists proceeded with the retrieval, telling her: "Our priority is to preserve your fertility and get those eggs," recalls Jackson. "But we're going to be avoiding the cysts as much as we can." That plan failed, when, during the egg retrieval they accidentally punctured the cyst. Afterward, the specialist encouraged her to find an endometriosis specialist.

Jackson, 36, says she immediately began Googling around and found NYC-based endometriosis excision specialist Dr. Tamer Seckin.

Kym Jackson

"I literally think I just Googled, 'best endometriosis surgeon.' I think Dr. Seckin's name was one of the first ones that came up. I had gone to so many blogs and so many articles about endometriosis, and Dr. Seckin's name just kept being referenced by everyone." She quickly made a March appointment with Seckin, and despite her fears of having surgery, says she felt a sense of calm in his care.

"He put me at ease immediately. But at the same time, made it very, very clear the severity of the issue." Her April endometriosis excision surgery lasted six hours as Seckin worked to excise her bilateral endometriomas and multiple endometriosis lesions throughout her bladder and bowel. Despite the lengthy procedure, the actress says her recovery has been surprisingly pain-free.

Post-op, "I didn't take any narcotics. All I took was Motrin."

And after a three-day hospital stay, she was back on her feet, exploring New York City with her beau, Aussie actor Andrew Steel.

"The minute we got out of Lenox Hill Hospital, we dropped our stuff off at home and went straight to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. I think we were at the festival walking around for about an hour and a half, and then we had lunch there, and then we went home and watched the last two episodes of Breaking Bad. And then the next day, we actually went to see School of Rock [The Musical] in Times Square."

Two weeks later, Jackson says she's back in her midriff-bearing tops ("There are barely any marks at all!" she shares) and says her boundless energy continues.

"I walked the dog for about an hour yesterday. Already I feel like I have more energy than I had before the surgery."

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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…