The Right Doctor Makes All the Difference in the World!
As I write this, we have been trying to conceive a baby for more than 4 years. My husband is Active Duty military, so that prior to understanding my Tricare options, our care was limited to physician assistants or OB/GYN physicians. Consequently, despite a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (“RPL”), we were labeled as “unexplained infertility.” If you’ve been diagnosed with this, you know how frustrating that title is!
I underwent HSGs, ultrasounds, countless blood tests, and seemingly endless unmonitored pill cycles. You name it; we tried it. I even had an exploratory laparoscopy by my OB/GYN. I know he meant well, and wanted to help…but fertility was NOT his specialty area (Side Note, if you don’t know the difference between an OB/GYN and a fellowship-trained, board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist (REI) I highly recommend you read about that first!).
Laparoscopy surgery #1…what a nightmare! Although we discovered extensive scarring in my tubes, it almost seems that this surgery caused me more harm than good. The recovery took almost 6 weeks and I had horrible scarring around my belly button and lower abdomen (so much for “band aid surgery”). Afterward, I was cleared to try to conceive again and was prescribed clomid for 3 more months, but nothing happened. In the first month without clomid, we got pregnant! I was so excited…until week 7 when it was found to be an ectopic pregnancy….in my tube that my OB/GYN had tried to “fix.”
In the emergency surgery my tube and my baby were removed, along with a part of my fertility, and a piece of my heart. Laparoscopy surgery #2…same nightmare as
before, 6 weeks recovering, more scar tissue, and yes, another ectopic pregnancy on the opposite side. Suspecting that our only option now would be IVF…. (drum roll) I met Dr. Ripps and NewLIFE !
I repeated an HSG because of the second ectopic pregnancy and it showed the remaining tube was dilated. As dilated tubes may interfere with an IVF cycle, Dr. Ripps recommended another laparoscopy to maybe repair or remove my only tube. I was ready for that, but not for another surgery. Although Dr. Ripps assured me that this would be an easy surgery, and quick recovery, and so simple I wouldn’t need narcotic pain meds, I could believe him. I was wrong! This surgery was SO different from my previous 2 experiences! I was up and walking the SAME day! No narcotic pain meds were needed. I was back to “normal activity” within a week. I can’t even see where he made my incisions! The best part…I was able to keep my tube and was reassured that I may be able to conceive naturally in the future! Can’t help but think if Dr. Ripps had been my surgeon for the first, or second surgery, we may have been successful by now.
As we continue undergoing treatment with Dr. Ripps and NewLIFE, I am more confident, and truly believe they will help us achieve our dreams of being parents. I will write again with our “pregnancy journey” when it happens! Thank you Dr. Ripps!
Don’t be afraid of surgery
With my short story, I want to encourage all the women who are afraid to undertake a laparoscopic surgery. All I can say is do it with no hesitation.
After reviewing all my husband and I results, Dr. Ripps was very happy to deliver us the news that all our test results were looking great. So what is the problem? Should we start with medication and injections right away or should we look inside and see what we can’t normally see by simply doing blood testing and ultrasound.
On one side I was so happy to hear that all our test results were great, but on the other side I was very concerned about the fact, we still didn’t know why we had an ectopic pregnancy a few months prior (ended up with one fallopian tube removal) and why we had such a hard time getting pregnant. After the ectopic pregnancy we were referred to Dr. Ripps to seek out further options and get to the root cause.
Dr. Ripps gave me the option of whether to do the surgery. I could tell it bothered him too that he couldn’t explain to us why we were not getting pregnant and why that ectopic pregnancy happened, so he was happy to hear we wanted to do the surgery.
Girls, Dr. Ripps knows for sure what he is doing and I highly recommend you follow his suggestions! I mean if you are referred to him, you are extremely lucky and blessed to have one of the world’s best referrals! You can fully trust him!
He was ready to do the surgery the next day, when one of the team members stated “hold your horses Doc, I need permission from her insurance which takes couple of days”… I had to laugh, but for sure I had the feeling I am his only patient and believe me I’m only one of the many.
So my surgery happened 1 week later with me being the first patient in the hospital that morning. Dr. Ripps came to talk to us before surgery and explained everything; if he finds something that needed to be fixed, he will do so.
Later that afternoon I woke up at home in my bed and after getting up on my feet and walking out to the living room to ask my husband how I got home, he was surprised I walked on my own and could even use the restroom which is not always the case after laparoscopy.(FYI numero dos)
My husband showed me all the pictures Dr. Ripps gave him and explained what he found and what exactly he did.
I had zero pain and no pain medicine was even prescribed to me, only anti- inflammatory, which is normal and you better take it. Within 48hours post- surgery I was back to work and 2 weeks later I was back to my running (4-5miles a day). I had no shoulder pain from the gasses and no nausea either. I have two 1 centimeter small scars, which I can barely see, one on my side and one in the middle very low part of my stomach.
I probably forgot to mention the most important fact. This whole time since I got my first period (aka 20 years ago) I had terrible cramps, mainly the first day of each period. The first time after this surgery I didn’t even have the slightest pain or cramps. The endometriosis on my ovary and bladder was causing all this pain and Dr. Ripps took care of it and removed as much as he could while also removing all the adhesions from a previews surgery.
So finally, there we were, we understood the infertility problem. In less than a week I am starting my medication and injections and can’t wait for the results. My husband and I know and believe, this is it, this will help us to get pregnant now. Fingers crossed!
We are very grateful for how Dr. Ripps and his team are helping us, making sure to keep us on schedule and on top of everything. It has just been a real pleasure to work with these kinds of professionals in their lovely cozy environment and welcoming atmosphere.
– Angela & Jason G., Fort Walton Beach, FL
Laparoscopic surgery isn’t difficult in good hands…a trustworthy doctor in Mobile, Alabama!
Because I understand how women might feel about having surgery for infertility, I wanted to share my experience, especially because as a nurse I can share more insight. As for many women these days, my childbearing journey began a little later in life as I made priorities of my education, nursing degree and gaining some career experience before making a family. Recognizing that age might be a factor, I didn’t start at the ObGyn, but made a decision to establish with a Board-Certified specialist. Girls, do your homework! A doctor is NOT a doctor….
I met with Dr. Ripps and there was no delay in making a plan for me. I immediately started my fertility journey using medications combined with inseminations. Despite great responses, I was frustrated by the lack of success. But with the guidance of Dr. Ripps and his nurse, Toni, in the Mobile, Alabama office, I began to consider laparoscopy to investigate what could possibly be preventing me from getting pregnant.
I never imagined how easy this would be, as medical procedures go. Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely hate the idea of having any type of surgical procedure. I was counseled that it would be a short recovery with very little discomfort. Being in the medical field, I know more than I’d like to. But with Dr. Ripps’ confidence and Toni’s confirmation, my fears subsided and I agreed.
At my preoperative appointment, I received a short list of instructions for the day before, the day of, and the days after surgery. All of it was so surprisingly simple…and what puzzled me the most became the best part, as I didn’t have to take any narcotic pain pills. Why? Because I WOULDN’T NEED THEM! I didn’t want to miss much work and I certainly didn’t want to feel drugged from pain medication. I just felt confident that if I followed this protocol exactly as directed that I was going to be ok.
My surgery required about 1 hour and I was done…wide awake in recovery with absolutely no pain at all. I’m not exaggerating. I woke up and was totally surprised that I wasn’t hurting! I did not have nausea from the anesthesia even though I have always been the one who wakes up sick after surgery. My surgery only required two very small incisions that healed so quickly and I can’t find the scars now. Other women (yes, online) complained about shoulder pain, but I didn’t have any, probably because Dr. Ripps says he knows “how to get the gas out.”
I returned to a full work schedule 3 days after the surgery and I work 12-hour shifts in a hospital, on my feet for the majority of those hours. Yet, I never had to take anything other that what Dr. Ripps had prescribed which was an anti-inflammatory. In retrospect, I probably could have returned to work sooner but did not really know what to expect.
I am sharing my story so others will approach this diagnostic surgery without fear, especially if you have a great surgeon like Dr. Ripps who has earned my trust. Then, you will gain the confidence to make your baby dreams come true.
– Shannon W.