Above, Dr. Seckin and Melissa Boudreau meet at Patient Awareness Day 2018 in NYC in March. "I instantly felt comfortable with him," she says.
Five botched surgeries in four years.
Melissa Boudreau knows what its like to receive improper care from OB-GYN’s who aren’t skilled at surgically removing endometriosis.
One OB-GYN performed a laparoscopic excision surgery—or, so Boudreau thought.
“She said, ‘You have the worst case of endometriosis I've ever seen,’” recalls Boudreau, 39, of what the doctor told her when she awoke post-op. “‘I couldn't touch it. I don't know. I did the best I could. I had no idea what to do.’”
Another OB-GYN was more upfront and admitted to not knowing anything about endometriosis—so she sent Boudreau off to an IVF specialist for a referral, even though Boudreau never discussed family planning.
“She was like, ‘[The IVF specialist] is the only doctor I know who knows about [endometriosis].”
She bounced from one doctor to the next with periods so incapacitating, she often found herself eating Advil or curled up on her hotel room floor during business trips.
But there was one trip Boudreau knew she just had to take. In March 2018 she flew from her home in Royal Oak, Michigan to New York City where she attended Patient Awareness Day, a free, endo-focused conference thrown annually by The Endometriosis Foundation of America and founder Dr. Tamer Seckin. At the end of the event, Boudreau approached Seckin to thank him for putting together the event; the duo struck up a conversation about her symptoms, and the rest is history.
In May she returned to NYC to see Seckin again, this time at Seckin Endometriosis Center for a consultation. After an MRI showed hints of endometriosis, Seckin and Boudreau scheduled surgery on August 9, for what would be her sixth surgery. In the OR, Seckin and his team labored to remove nearly 40 endometriosis lesions. “I had to have a bowel resection. They said [endo adhesions] made my bowels look like a balloon animal. It was all twisted from the disease.”
The procedure lasted seven hours, and she remained at Lenox Hill Hospital for a seven-day stay.
How is she feeling now?
In the recovery room, Seckin had a telling prediction.
“You’re going to be a different woman,” Boudreau says Seckin told her. "It was almost like he got emotional. I mean, at that moment, I just wanted to hug him, but I couldn't move."
“I'm on my fifth week of recovery. I feel really good. I feel positive. I feel like [Seckin], and his team will be there to support me if something happens in the future.”
“I can't wait to live a life, where I'm not living in constant fear of, ‘Am I going to be sick?’”