Hi Nutrinic7, Apologies for the delay in this reply. I have booked excision surgery for the removal of superficial endometriosis with Peter in early Feb. but with the Christmas break am unable to move forward with my VHI application. I just got my application form for Treatment Abroad signed by a consultant on Dec. 20th and am now waiting for Peter to fill out the rest of the form.
However, I do not think VHI will be making it easy for me. A private consultant already refused to sign it and sent me to Dr. McMurray instead. The consultant who has signed it for me is Dr. Cathy Burke, a Cork-based gynaecologist who does have an interest in endometriosis but only works in the HSE so is not registered with the VHI – so there is a good chance that they may make that a problem. I am on a waiting list for a laparoscopy with her but that could take a while given that it is the public system.
During my initial consultation with Peter last November, the doctor he sent me to for a scan (Mr. Jurkovic) was able to eliminate “deep endometriosis” so it is likely that I only have superficial or Stage 1/2 endometriosis – this brings the cost of Peter’s surgery down, which is why I plan to use my savings to follow through on it, even if the VHI do not cover it.
As you probably know, the amount and type of endometriosis tissue that one has does not co-relate to your amount of pain and other disabling symptoms.
Nearly 25 years ago I was diagnosed with M.E. and various digestive disorders – which all turned out to be endometriosis – but only a very small amount on my ovaries. Within a few months of ablation surgery 23 years ago, in conjunction with the continuous contraception pill, I had my life back. I also went on to have two children.
I was one of the lucky ones, whose endometriosis stayed more or less at bay for a very long time (except for painful periods) but, what appear to be the same symptoms (and more), have come back with a vengeance in the last four months (following an internal vaginal physiotherapy session) and I am back to being severely limited in what I can do physically so am extremely keen to get sorted as soon as possible as it is interfering significantly with my ability to work and mind my children.
However, one does feel very alone having to make these huge and costly decisions oneself. Although Peter is only undertaking surgery on me as he feels there is a high likelihood of superficial endo being present he
cannot guarantee that it will make me pain free. As his last e-mail to me said, “We need to wait for 6 months post surgery to see if you have benefit or not. I cannot tell you there is definitely something there that is not seen on scan or tell you whether to proceed with surgery. That is for you to decide based upon how much you feel pain interferes with your life and how far you are prepared to go to address this. As I said, the data is that IF you have superficial endometriosis and remove it then there is an 80% chance of significant reduction in pain at 6 months post surgery that has a recurrence rate of 10-50% by 3-5 years post surgery.”
I think if I was back in my 20’s and Stage 3 or 4 endo was eliminated I would be willing to try surgery here in Ireland but I am now in my late 40’s, have had two laparoscopies, a C-section, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction post child-birth (with long-term on-going related issues), osteo-arthritis and osteopenia so want to make sure I get back on my feet ASAP – and fingers crossed surgery with Peter will help with this.
I hope this information may help you some bit. Best of luck making your own decisions about the right path for you.