For eight years, Manalapan resident Lacey Reyes suffered from painful, heavy menstrual periods. She bled so much that she needed iron IV infusions to treat severe anemia, a condition in which the body lacks enough iron to make healthy red blood cells. During her period, the 39-year-old stayed home for fear of bleeding through her clothing in public.
“The pain was so bad that I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything,” says Lacey. “For one week out of the month, I was essentially homebound.”
Doctors she had consulted over the years recommended using hormonal birth control methods to stop her heavy bleeding. But the mother of three felt uneasy about the potential risks of using hormone pills or an IUD. So, she suffered on, believing she had no other options.
Her periods worsened, becoming heavier and longer. By 2022, when she arrived in the office of CentraState gynecologist Helen Simigiannis, MD, her periods were lasting up to two months.
Dr. Simigiannis listened to Lacey, reviewed her medical history and sent her for testing. Lacey was diagnosed with adenomyosis, a form of endometriosis. In this condition, tissue from the uterine lining grows into the wall of the uterus, causing pain and bleeding. Dr. Simigiannis explained Lacey’s treatment options, which included hormonal therapy or hysterectomy.
Lacey chose hysterectomy.
“So many doctors made me feel like I was crazy or that my periods were normal,” says Lacey. “But Dr. Simigiannis listened, and she understood. She put an end to my suffering.”
A Minimally Invasive Solution
In July 2022, Dr. Simigiannis performed a minimally invasive robotic assisted hysterectomy with the da Vinci® Surgical System to remove Lacey’s uterus and fallopian tubes. In robotic surgery, a surgeon controls the surgical instruments from a special console in the operating room. This approach allows a surgeon to operate precisely while using smaller incisions.
“With robotic surgery, recovery time is much quicker,” says Dr. Simigiannis. “There’s less blood loss, less scarring, fewer complications and less need for pain medication. It’s made hysterectomy much less complicated and patients get back to their daily life quicker.”
Lacey’s surgery took only an hour and she returned home the same day.
She now describes herself as “free” – free from pain, free from anemia and free from having her menstrual cycle rule her schedule.
“I got my life back,” she says. “My whole life used to revolve around my period. Now I can do anything I want, when I want. I’m so grateful for Dr. Simigiannis.”
To find a women’s health specialist at CentraState, visit our Physician Finder or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).