My Journey: The detection, the diagnosis, the care leading up to the big day, surgery, recovery & life after the procedure

Given his honest and straightforward nature, he reiterated exactly why he was taking my case pro bono. He, better than anyone, understood that my case was so difficult- stage IV endometriosis: two large “chocolate” cysts in each ovary.

My name is Karina A., I am 35-years-old and I opted to have my stage IV Endometriosis treated with laparoscopic surgery.

After a great deal of thought, I approached 2013 with the hope that I would explore the possibility of becoming a mother. I initiated my inquiry of potential motherhood with an appointment for my annual gynecological visit. I reached out to an entirely new gynecologist at the end of 2012. I did so because of a referral during a chance conversation I had with an acquaintance from work. During that annual visit I shared my recent revelations about wanting to be a mother; I asked her if I should get a sonogram to see if it would even be possible. She thought it was a good idea both because of my reason for the request and, later, because she felt something out of the ordinary during the exam.

Faithfully, I scheduled the sonogram and waited for the results, and then they came. The precautionary sonogram was the maneuver that would allow me to understand that, what I just accepted as normal symptoms of being a woman who gets her period, were anything but normal. All my life I thought I was one of those women who got her period “really badly”. That is, having symptoms which included; spotting in between periods, a heavy blood flow, leg aches, inability to stand upright on a couple of occasions, headaches, uncomfortable cramping in my abdomen and back. Even reading this back I can’t help but think, this is par for the course, Karina. The results were explained like this, “I am glad that you followed up with this. You have things wrong with you that need to be addressed immediately.” I was referred to an oncologist. I was frantic, and so the journey began.

As I sit here and reflect on my journey over the last 4 months, I can’t help but feel both empowered and fortunate. I was proactive: I sought out 2nd and 3rd opinions. It was through my conviction to find answers that I was led to medical professionals who helped me understand my symptoms and my disease. But most importantly, led me to the doctor that would go above and beyond to ensure my care, safety and my ability to reproduce.

I never did see the oncologist; he was very difficult to make an appointment with. I had a sense of urgency so, I reached out to another gynecologist my mother and sister referred. During my visit to the 2nd gynecologist, Dr. Samuel Levin, a light was cast over exactly what was wrong with me. He suspected that I had endometriosis and that it was quite advanced. Knowing that he was not an expert, he referred me to someone he knew was. He referred me to Dr. Seckin, a leading doctor in the field of laparoscopic surgery & endometriosis research.

Upon Dr. Levine’s urging I went home and researched Dr. Seckin and while I grew impressed by his body of work and knowledge, I also started to feel less alone. I am not the only woman who had been suffering like this. There were so many other women out there just like me and Dr. Seckin had treated them. For the first time since getting my vague sonogram results I started to feel hopeful.

Immediately I called and made an appointment with a bit of trepidation, he didn’t take my insurance. I expressed that to the receptionist, she listened and let me know that she would speak to Dr. Seckin and see what could be worked out. A few days later I received an email letting me know that he would take my case pro bono.

The day of my initial visit came. He took me into his office and performed his own assessment of my condition. He concurred with Dr. Levine and let me know that, all those symptoms that I had been suffering were due to stage IV Endometriosis. He informed me the surgery was necessary.

Given his honest and straightforward nature, he reiterated exactly why he was taking my case pro bono. He, better than anyone, understood that my case was so difficult- stage IV endometriosis: two large “chocolate” cysts in each ovary. He assured me that: very few surgeons would be able to pull off what he could, his conscious would haunt him if he knew that I would have undergone the procedure with any other doctor.

While he exhibited a great level of compassion, he was a straight shooter. He was straightforward and the confidence he exuded gave me added reassurance. Therefore, the relief I felt was enormous. Truth, I had all these what ifs floating around in my head about what would happen to me. Would they find other things wrong with me? Would the biopsy reveal cancer? What if I can never have children? However, I didn’t have the added financial worries. But most importantly, I trusted the level of care I was going to receive would be above standard level care. I was in the best hands possible.

In the month leading up to surgery, Dr. Seckin had me visit his office to observe the cysts for any changes. In addition, he made me get a pelvic MRI, consult with a proctologist to ensure that there wouldn’t be further complications. After my visit to him the proctologist let me know that he would be assisting on the day of my surgery. That whole month before surgery I felt so supported and well prepared. I started to understand that Dr. Seckin, as skilled as he is, was covering all his bases and orchestrating a team of doctors to care for me.

On the day of surgery, I arrived at the hospital and was greeted by nurses and the medical team, I felt nervous but safe. While my procedure was meant to be two hours long, it ended up being six hours. Yes, what needed to be done was very involved and needed extra time and attention. Dr. Seckin and his team took their time and performed their best and worked through it with diligence and the highest level of commitment. Once I woke up and was informed of that, I cried. I didn’t cry because I was in pain but because I felt the so cared for. They worked so hard and collaboratively to ensure that I was safe and sound. I knew that I had been in the hands of greatness, an effort that was orchestrated by Dr. Seckin. At this point he had seen me through this journey and over the most difficult part.

Dr. Seckin managed to perform the six-hour surgery all through laparoscopic means. There were no large cuts made, my reproductive organs were entirely intact. The fact that the surgery was done entirely laparoscopic my recovery time was minimal. I was up and ready to shower four days after surgery. I was walking myself to the car two weeks after surgery to journey from New Jersey into Manhattan to go in to get my stitches removed. I was driving two weeks later. And finally, back at work three weeks after surgery.

It is now two months after surgery and I feel wonderful. I am back in the gym doing cardio and working as if nothing happened. I have had my period twice each time it has gotten better. I have had minimal crapping and the duration has been shorter each time.

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…