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Amy Schumer Speaks Up About Her Endometriosis Surgery

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Amy Schumer, actress and comedian, is another celebrity sharing her experience with endometriosis, including her recent surgery where she had her appendix and uterus removed due to endometriosis attacking both areas.

In her Instagram video, she mentions why this happened:

“The doctor found 30 spots of endometriosis that he removed, he removed my appendix because the endometriosis attached it. There was a lot, a lot of blood in my uterus and I’m you know, sore and I have some like gas pains but already with all that I feel my energy…”

The first video post cuts out shortly after that (see the second video), but there are some things about Amy’s story that are shedding a positive light on the endometriosis community.

Per Nancy’s Nook, “Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrial-like) located outside the uterus. Endometriosis lesions are different in both structure and behavior from the normal endometrium which is shed during a period. Endometriosis tissue can cause pain, infertility and organ dysfunction due to inflammation, invasion into structures in the body, and scar tissue.

Endometriosis impacts approximately one in 10 individuals assigned female at birth and is rare in individuals assigned male at birth. Symptoms are often dismissed as “bad cramps” leading to an average 10-year delay in diagnosis.

Amy has mentioned in past interviews that her endometriosis created some complications while giving birth to her 2-year-old son, Gene, back in 2019. She also captioned her surgery IG post, “If you have really painful periods, you may have #endometriosis” which can also be a clue toward looking into adenomyosis or other painful pelvic conditions.

At this time, her IG post has already exceeded 370K likes — and her comments are flooding in with words of support, encouragement and thanks for sharing her journey. Among those comments, we do see other women who had surgery, but it didn’t help them personally.

Women are often pointed to seek surgeries for their endometriosis from their general gynecologists, who don’t always have the experience or knowledge to work with a patient who has this disease in comparison to other professionals.

Unfortunately, that also often means endometriosis treatment varies and it’s often determined by who you see — for most, it may involve being dismissed no matter how bad you feel or your symptoms progress, going on birth control to see if that helps make it more tolerable, skipping your periods all the time to try and avoid the pain, trying ablation surgery (which burns endometriosis at the surface), countless diet or lifestyle changes, or taking serious hormone medications that can have a life-altering impact (and often these cannot be taken long term because of the potential damage they can create).

There is also the notorious hysterectomy option, which can be misleading because endometriosis can spread anywhere in the body, so even after that procedure is done it may not do much if there is still endo wreaking havoc elsewhere in the body.

Women with endometriosis are willing to try anything and everything to feel some sort of relief, so it’s heartbreaking when we try something and it doesn’t yield the results desired. This is where excision surgery from an endometriosis specialist is worth exploring and Amy was fortunate enough to see herself as she gave thanks to Dr. Seckin and Dr. Brill for performing her excision surgery.

What makes excision surgery so special? Nancy’s Nook does a great job of answering why excision surgery should be considered the gold standard treatment of this disease:

  • Excision of abnormal tissue removed endometriosis (most often permanently) by surgically cutting out the disease at its roots — unlike ablation surgery, which just burns off the top surface of endometriosis and leaves the diseased roots unseen.
  • This method tries to restore normal anatomy and preserve organs when possible.
  • Recurrence rates are low when this surgery is done by skilled surgeons who know how to identify all forms of endometriosis and the removal of it — wherever that may be found in the body.
  • It is still important to identify and treat other causes of pelvic pain to have the best reduction/elimination of pelvic pain.

The other issue with excision surgery involves barriers with financial and geographical barriers being the most common. We do not have enough endo excision specialists compared to the one in 10 women (over 200 million) who have this disease. Tie that into poor health insurance or living in a state that doesn’t even have an endo specialist to see, you’re forced to choose — continue to suffer or try what treatment you can regardless if it’s not the best or safest one available for this condition.

In Amy’s case, her appendix and uterus were removed due to being attacked by endo, with her noting 30 spots located on her appendix and she was able to get this surgery with endometriosis excision specialists. She may have noted some gas pains, not uncommon for any kind of surgery.

From one woman with endo to another, I really hope Amy has a smooth recovery and keeps the community updated about how this surgery impacts her quality of life and pain levels, and possibly shift her voice into advocacy, so any woman with endo will have a better choice of treatment for when endometriosis is suspected and should include access to excision surgery by someone qualified to do it.

And from the looks of it, she’s already on that path — thank you, Amy.

Photo via Amy Schumer’s instagram

Originally published: September 24, 2021
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