Endometriosis is often suffered in silence and overlooked by doctors

Endometriosis is often suffered in silence and overlooked by doctors

ENDOMETRIOSIS is a debilitating disease suf-fered by six million wom-en of reproductive age in this country, and yet is often overlooked by many who think their symptoms are simply bad period pains. Its name is derived from endometrium, the name of the cells that line the inside of the uterus and which build up and shed each month during the menstrual cycle. In endometriosis, the cells are deposited in areas outside of the uterus, and are affected by the same hormones that produce the monthly cycle. Common symptoms are pelvic pain, persistent cramps, lower back pain and fatigue. If untreated, it can lead to infertility, which is when it is most often diagnosed. "This is one of the most mistreated diseases in wom-en," says Dr. Tamer Seckin, Specialist Surgeon in Endo-metriosis, who is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. "It can destroy a woman's life. It is debilitating." Seckin formed the Endometriosis Foundation of America (endofound.org) to focus on education and have healthcare providers take this disease seriously.

Endometriosis is often suffered in silence and overlooked by doctors
osis is often mistaken for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or appendicitis, or glossed over by women who think they just have to "deal with it" as part of their monthly cycle. The only way to properly diagnose endometriosis is with a laparoscopic exam. Under anesthesia, an incision is made in the abdomen and a laparoscope (a tube with a light in it) checks the organs. This shows the location and extent of any growths. While this disease can be treated, it is a chronic illness with no cure. "This disease needs to be taken seriously by healthcare officials. If not, it could lead to further surgeries," says Seckin. Stephanie St. James had been suffering for at least 10 years with excruciating peri-ods that left her bedridden, constipated and with extreme lower back pain. After a lap-aroscopic exam, the surgeon found that her colon was cemented to her uterus with endometrial cells, and part of her colon had to be removed. In St. James' case, the disease returned even more aggressively three years later, leading to further surgery. How did she deal with this? "By helping other women like myself who are suffering, and letting them know that they are not alone," she says. —Pamela Stern

“This is one of the most mistreated diseases in women,” says Tamer Seckin, Specialist Surgeon in Endometriosis, who is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. “It can destroy a woman’s life. It is debilitating. This disease needs to be taken seriously by healthcare officials. If not, it could lead to further surgeries.”


<< Previous Article
I’d always had very bad severe menstrual cramps, and they got progressively worse over the years
I’d always had very bad severe menstrual cramps, and they got progressively worse over the years

After taking her medical history and doing a physical exam, Seckin told Lakshmi that he was fairly confident that her…

Read more >

Next Article >>
Recipe for Success: Padma Lakshmi
Recipe for Success: Padma Lakshmi

The Top Chef host dishes on food, fame, and her struggles with endometriosis -- plus she shares two delectable recipes.…

Read more >

Patient Reviews

Write a review
  • 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…

  • 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…