I am a survivor of ENDOMETROSIS! What is Endometrosis?

Here is my story, including my 20-year-old daughter, who is also affected with endometrosis: In 1975, I was put in the hospital for 5 days because of severe pain on my right side. The doctors could never figure out what was wrong but they thought it was associated with my period. I was in 8th grade at the time and…

I am a survivor of ENDOMETROSIS! What is Endometrosis?  Well, it has been equated to a cancer-like disease and believe me, it is!  It grows anywhere and everywhere inside your body and it is extremely painful.  It has been proven that it can happen in young teens as well as women in their late 20’s on into their 30s and 40s.

Here is my story, including my 20-year-old daughter, who is also affected with endometrosis: In 1975, I was put in the hospital for 5 days because of severe pain on my right side.  The doctors could never figure out what was wrong but they thought it was associated with my period.  I was in 8th grade at the time and had just begun my period within the year.

Throughout my teen years, my periods were extremely painful and heavy and I would also have fevers and headaches.  I went to my general practioner in 1983 and he immediately referred me to a gynecologist, who saw me that day and put me in the hospital that night for surgery the next morning.  I was in so much pain that I could hardly walk so I was put in a wheel chair.  It turned out I had endometriosis inside both ovaries (my ovaries had grown to the size of oranges) and so I woke up with an incision across my abdomen from one side to the other (this incision was later used to deliver my daughter, Mary).  My doctor drained both ovaries from the endometriosis, and when I woke up, he said it was very unclear whether I could conceive children.

At 21, this was very hard to hear, so I did as much research as I could back then, without the age of the computer, and I was very fortunate to read a medical journal article that Dr. Rafael Valle was involved with regarding endometriosis and a new state of the art procedure called laparoscopy.  He was out of Northwestern Hospital in Chicago.  At the time, I lived in a suburb 45 miles northwest of Chicago so I found his office phone number (which was difficult to do because no computers) and made an appointment to see him.  I remember I had to wait 2 months to see him but it was well worth it.  He became my specialist and he personally watched how the endometriosis would grow inside me by doing 3 laparoscopies over the span of 4 years.  He kept it in check.

It was always questionable whether I could have children and so the good news is that, at age 29, I married and at age 33, I had my first child (a baby girl) and at age 35, I had my second child (a baby boy).  I had a miscarriage in between.  Over the past 20 years, we have moved from IL to FL to VA.

My daughter is now 20 and throughout her teen years, she has been the mirror image of my body with excruciating pain and heavy bleeding, headaches and fever.  She started to go to a gynecologist early (when she was 15) because I did not want her to suffer like me and if we could find a doctor that understood endometriosis then maybe she would not have as much pain as me.  I took her to my gynecologist in VA who pretty much dismissed what MF was saying about her periods.  Then, MF found a boutique type of doctor in MD that did not really understand the severity of the problem and prescribed some pain medication for her which did not help.

Before MF started college, her monthly cycle became longer and longer and more painful so it was hard to have her away while she was going through all this pain.  She went to New Haven last year to school and it made sense to look for a specialist at Yale.  MF and I both searched the internet and found a specialist at Yale for endometriosis.  We went to the appointment at the end of May and the Yale specialist said there was an 80% chance MF had endometriosis and there was also something weird that she could not tell what it was and it was probably nothing.  The doctor wanted to put MF on hormones after the surgery, but MF is a special case where she cannot take hormones because she has bad reactions.  This doctor did not seem to understand that and continued to pursue the hormone idea.  We came out of the meeting and MF said we need to find someone else that will listen to her needs and help elevate the pain.

We found Dr. Seckin!  MF was starting to go downhill physically.   I made an appointment with Lucy for MF and Dr. Seckin to meet during the first week of August.  It was tiring for MF to travel to NYC but it was well worth it. She was sleeping 15-17 hours a day and had no energy. She was taking one summer class that was totally wiping her out.

We met with Dr. Seckin on August 6 and I explained a little of my background with endometriosis and I explained how I found Dr. Rafael Valle in 1983 through the medical journal and that he wrote about laparoscopy and endometriosis.   Dr. Seckin’s reply was “Oh Raf, he is retired.  He is a good friend of mine.”  Immediately, I felt a connection with Dr. Seckin because if he is a friend of the doctor who operated on me 31 years ago! How AMAZING! I knew that in my heart that my sweet, dear 20-year-old daughter was in the right hands.After he saw the results, Dr. Seckin was absolutely sure that she had endometriosis. The question remained: how bad was it?   The issue that the MRI showed that there was possible kidney involvement so Dr. Seckin referred us to Dr. Brodherson, another godsend.  He is an incredible doctor that will communicate with you himself through text or phone call, no matter what time of the day or night, and is truly an expert in his field.

Yes, on September 11, 2014 in New York City, MF underwent surgery that lasted just over 2 ½ hours.    We went into the surgery thinking that MF was going to need a stint in for 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery and the great news is that she only needed the stint during the surgery.  MF has 5 small incisions around her abdomen so recovery is a slow process.  We saw Dr. Seckin in his office 1 ½ weeks after the surgery and he showed us actual photos of MF’s ovaries.   We could see that the endometriosis was still on top of both ovaries and Dr. Seckin said that MF has a very aggressive type of endometriosis and that he will have to watch it carefully to see if any changes occur, so yes, she will have to undergo more surgery next year but it is comforting to know that she is in the hands of a true expert.  MF will continue to see Dr. Seckin and we both feel so blessed to have found such a wonderful, caring expert and team of experts that will follow MF’ case.

As for me, I am now 53 years old and have two wonderful children. When I was 48, my periods became very heavy again and I had fibroids so I had a hysterectomy.

Patient Reviews

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  • 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…

  • Jason Curry

    My wife had her laparoscopic excision surgery to remove endometriosis with Dr. Seckin on Jan 30, 2014. She doesn't write online reviews so I'm writing this on her behalf. I accompanied her with each office visit she had. The staff--Lucy and Kim, are very friendly, warm and professional. Dr. Seckin was excellent in every capacity. He spent a lot of…

  • Liz Filippelli

    He is an awesome doctor who saved my daughters life from debilitating endometriosis..she knew instantly upon awaking from surgery that she was better..that wad May and no complaints only praises for Dr. Wonderful Seckin!!

  • Karen N

    I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 19. I saw several Endometriosis "Specialists" since then, had a few laproscopic surgeries to "remove" the endometriosis and continued to be in pain. I had a hysterectomy in 2012 and was told this would stop the pain once and for all. No such luck! Tired of spending days in bed with a heating pad,…

  • Lauren Rodriguez

    I researched and found Dr. Seckin after dealing with years of doctors who couldn't help me or refused to go the extra mile for their patients. I have to say I am truly blessed to have found such a compassionate and talented doctor. He is exquisite with everything he does, and both his team at the office and surgical team…

  • Kellya Vespa

    Dr. Seckin is a very skilled surgeon. There are not many doctors like him that truly understand the effects of endometriosis. I am lucky to have found him. The staff is wonderful too.

  • Meg Connolly

    Dr. Seckin truly LOVES what he does and cares about his patients from the bottom of his heart. My life has already changed in 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more grateful. Should I ever need another operation for endometriosis, Dr. Seckin will be the one to do it. I recommend him to anyone I come across with similar problems…

  • Elisandra O

    Dr. Seckin is an amazing Doctor he is very compassionate, caring and he will be honest with you. He's been my doctor for 19yrs and I am so grateful to have someone taking care of me that knows what he is doing and knows the best way to treat each and every situation. I would definitely recommend him and his…