Padma Lakshmi Turns Health Ordeal into Awareness

Padma Lakshmi Turns Health Ordeal into Awareness

Padma Lakshmi is turning a personal medical drama into a form of social outreach. 

Padma Lakshmi is turning a personal medical drama into a form of social outreach.

The Top Chef host, 38, has started foundation to raise awareness about endometriosis – a condition affecting women’s reproductive health – after her own experience of having a successful operation and making a full recovery.

“I’m somebody who never knew I had this condition and always thought that everything was okay,” says Lakshmi. “I found out in a very hard, difficult way – and I had to be operated on. Now, I’m fine but it was a very trying ordeal.”

A common condition, endometriosis is a problem that occurs when tissues that line the uterus grow outside the uterus, resulting in painful menstrual cycles and uterine scarring that could lead to infertility. With surgery, endometriosis can be treated easily – but it must be detected first.

‘Why I Spoke Out’

“It’s probably the most prevalent disease” affecting reproductive health, explains Dr. Tamer Seckin, who treated Lakshmi and with her also co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America. “It’s also the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, mismanaged and mistreated. And women, because of that, end up being infertile and in chronic pain.”

Joining forces to create awareness was especially important for Lakshmi, she says, though she would have to come forward about something so intimate.

“It’s a very personal issue,” she says. “It has to do with the most private aspect of a woman’s life, and when I had to have surgery, I had to miss work and explain why. I just found that in talking to people, not many people knew what it was.”

“I just thought I had a responsibility to let other young women know so they wouldn’t have to go through what I went though,” she says. “If you get tested at an early age, it’s very simple to be treated for it and it will save you from a lifetime of pain and stress.”

Time for a Ball

Together, Seckin and Lakshmi will host the “Blossom Ball,” their first fundraising event, on April 20 at New York’s Prince George Ballroom – and they’ve recruited a starry panel of women to serve on the honorary committee, including 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski and Helena Christensen.

Explaining the event’s name, Lakshmi, who says she likes to think of their new organization as the “Healthy Womb Society,” says, “when [Dr. Seckin] explained the illness to me, he said it’s like roots in a garden and the roots can spread everywhere. If you don’t [treat it], it will ruin the whole flower bed.”

//www.people.com/people/article/0,,20272655,00.html

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Patient Reviews

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  • 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…

  • 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…