The Most Basic Advice

If any doctor or specialist diagnoses you with any one prolapse (bladder, rectal, vaginal), it is critical that you not allow a single prolapse repair. First find an ob/gyn who is experienced in evaluating and treating pelvic prolapse (which views the entire condition of the pelvic organs).

If the single prolapse is due to a weakened pelvic floor condition or another pelvic issue, other organs may be impacted and the surgery may lead to the next prolapse. A trained ob/gyn will decide in which order the prolapse(s) needs to be repaired. Having a single repair and then learning of the pelvic prolapse can cause complications.

It's your body. Take charge and get a second opinion from a board certified ob/gyn who has adopted viewing any organ prolapse as potentially pelvic prolapse.


The Missing Cyst

In August 2007 I had surgery to remove an ovarian cyst but was told post-surgery that no cyst could be found. The surgeon proceeded with the next surgery a few weeks later...see previous post. At the point Dr. McKenna casually mentioned "except for the cyst on your ovary", I felt so many feelings flood me at once. Shock, betrayal, fear. What had I allowed this incompentent doctor to do to me.

Dr. McKenna was kind to refer me to the head of Micro-Invasive Surgery in the Hershey Medical Center ob/gyn department. Dr. Harkins thought death had walked into the room when I arrived at his office. He ordered the correct imaging to see what was going on. He identified several issues from the test in addition to everything that had been identified in the previous analysis sent to Dr. DeLeo.

Dr. Harkins recommended a hysterectomy as he believed that particular issue should have been done first and may have avoided the other two prolapses. Hindsight is everything. In October 2007, the hysterectomy was performed. We had decided ahead of time to keep my right ovary if it was viable. He planned to remove the fallopian tubes, the left ovary and the cyst. However, he told me post-surgery, that he could see right away through the laparoscopy scope that I had a "frozen pelvis".

A "frozen pelvis" is when endometriosis has wrapped itself in and around the uterus as well as organs outside of the uterus. I was a mess. He spent a long time removing the endometriosis and found beneath it a healthy pink right ovary. There was no way a trained surgeon could possibly have missed what he found. Dr. Harkins showed me the video of his procedure. I was stunned. Thank goodness I was led to him. The irony is I was terrified of a male ob/gyn yet it was a women who caused harm and a male who saved me.


Connecting the Missing Dots

It has been so long since I've kept this blog up to date. I reread my posts and realized there is a blank ending at the end of the 12/22/08 post where Dr. DeLeo had read my MRI, informed me of an ovarian cyst, and scheduled a laparoscopy to remove the cyst followed several weeks later by the rectocele.

When I awoke from the laparoscopy, she informed me there had been no cyst but she "cleaned things up" and I would be fine. All okay for the next surgery. In retrospect, Brian would say she viewed me as her "cash cow".  In my earlier post I explained what happened following her rectocele. I was hospitalized requiring a transfusion due to hemorrhaging during surgery. A week after surviving that ordeal, I experienced a rectal abscess.

Brian had called Dr. DeLeo's office a week after the botched up rectocele. I had already made the decision to take myself out of her care but Brian thought she was the one who needed to determine if what I was experiencing was a post surgery issue. All I can say is that I had painful burning. Her office told me I was to do nothing. Later that day, the burning had intensified to where I was crying. I called the Penn State Medicine after hours nurse triage line. They told me to go to the emergency room right away and they would call ahead to say I was coming.

I had only a half-hour wait in a packed waiting room. Via CT scan, an abscess was identified. A drain had to be put into my back and I was in the hospital about five days with no food. I had to return home with the drain still in my back. I was a physical and emotional mess. The drain was finally removed and I had a follow up appointment with the doctor in charge of the colo-rectal department, Dr. McKenna. By that time I was so fearful of the previous surgeries handled by Dr. DeLeo. I asked Dr. McKenna if everything else looked okay in my pelvic area.

He replied it looked okay except for a cyst on my ovary.

To be continued in next post.