Charlotte mom shares experience with life-changing endometriosis treatment

Emily Chandler wants women to know they are not alone. For a long time, she lived with pain and a lot of it.

“It was everyday pain. I couldn’t do anything that didn’t involve pain,” said Chandler. "Everything hurt from walking to going to the bathroom."

She suffered from pelvic pain. While undergoing fertility treatments in hopes of having a second child she was diagnosed with endometreoma or a cyst on her ovary.

The pain persisted until she found Dr. Smitha Vilasagar at Atrium Health’s Women’s Center for Pelvic Health.

“She had difficulty walking and was in pain sitting on my exam table,” said Dr. Vilasagar who specializes in a laparoscopic surgery to remove endometriosis. Endometriosis is only definitively diagnosable by surgery with a biopsy.

“It’s removing the inflammatory lesions of endometriosis and helping a woman’s pain and as well as improving her chances of getting pregnant if that is her goal,” said Dr. Vilasagar.

The minimally invasive procedure is what she recommended for Chandler. Chandler considered leaving North Carolina to have the procedure done until she found Vilasagar.

“When I saw her after surgery she was a whole new person,” said Vilasagar.

Chandler says the operation changed the quality of her life. Chandler’s story is not unique according to Dr. Vilasagar who says often times women suffer in silence but she says they don’t have to.

“My hope is women will advocate for themselves and their pain,” said Chandler.