YOUR HEALTH: Putting your body back together to get rid of the pain in your gut

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Darcy Lamond loves a good game of basketball with her kids, but four years ago a sharp pain in her abdomen nearly sidelined her.

"It felt like someone had driven a stake through my center and it was coming out the back."

Each of those episodes would last 12 to 18 hours.

"I wasn't able to go to work. I certainly wasn't driving the kids to school. I wasn't able to take care of the household. I wasn't able to do anything."

Darcy found out her pain was caused by intestinal malrotation, a condition she was born with where her intestines did not form correctly inside her abdomen.

Intestinal malrotation affects one out of every 500 or more babies born in the u-s. it can cause abdominal pain and cramping.

After she was diagnosed at age 26, she went from doctor to doctor for nearly 15 years to get her symptoms under control.

Then she met Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagd at the Cleveland Clinic.

"The solution is to reconstruct the whole gut the way it is supposed to be. Like you are arranging your kitchen and your bathroom," said Dr. Abu-Elmagd, the director of Cleveland Clinic's Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation Center.

Dr. Abu-Elmagd pioneered the new surgery, where he moved the intestines to secure them inside the abdomen after rotating the bowel 180 degrees. after the procedure, Darcy felt immediate relief.

NEW TECHNOLOGY:   Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagdsaid his surgery puts "everything in its anatomical position which is like doing a transplant. It's a combination of how to dissect the organs from the way they are now and then put them back together."

He also has advice for other doctors:

"The take home message is for a physician to listen to the patients.  It's hurting me that the patients know more than a lot of physicians particularly when it comes to innovative procedures."

"The Ladd procedure to me it's obsolete; it does not solve the problem," he said.

"Hopefully the innovative technique we developed will be published and be available to everyone."

It helped Darcy.

"Now I feel like more of a complete person," she said.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.