BALTIMORE, Maryland – Every time Mallory Harrison holds the warrior pose, she feels stronger than ever.
"I need yoga to just kind of get my stress levels down."
But for many months, these moves were impossible to perform.
"I would start to cancel plans because I was just in so much pain I just didn't want to get out of bed because I'd have my heating pad in bed, and at least then i could just lay there and try to deal with it."
Mallory had pain from endometriosis that didn't respond to treatment.
She wanted to avoid ugly scars, so surgery wasn't an option until Mallory met gynecologic surgeon Kevin Audlin.
Dr. Audlin uses new laparoscopic tools that are smaller than ever, just three millimeters in size, instead of the standard five millimeter. It's "low-impact surgery".
"Low impact, because not only are we using three milliliter instruments, but we are using low intra-abdominal pressure with gas," explained Dr. Audlin, a physician specializing in Endometriosis Care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
This "low impact surgery" means a patient's abdomen wouldn't have to be fully inflated for surgeons to maneuver.
Using three tiny incisions the size of sesame seeds, Dr. Audlin inserts these tools to remove the extra tissue.
"With these, I am just putting a little dab of glue," he said, "there is not even a need for a suture."
Mallory's abdomen looks virtually untouched. She's pain-free and relieved that her fertility has been preserved.
"I still wanted that option to be open to me. I didn't want to have to let the endometriosis decide whether or not I could have kids."
Giving her even more flexibility to manage her health as she gets older.
ENDOMETRIOSIS: Endometriosis is a condition that causes abnormal pelvic pain when the endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be located in regions of the pelvic area; the bladder, bowel, uterus/vagina and rectum. Endometriosis is mostly unrecognizable, misdiagnosed and mistreated and can occur in teenagers and women in their 20s and 30s. This condition can impact women in all aspects of their lives; careers, finances, relationships and overall well-being. Signs and symptoms of endometriosis include, but are not limited to: abnormal painful cycles, painful intercourse, nausea/vomiting, chronic fatigue, and infertility. (Source: https://www.endofound.org/endometriosis).
Surgeons are also using this type of low impact procedure for hysterectomy and ovarian cysts, among other things.
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