Obstetrics & Gynecology: Patient Stories

Infertility/In Vitro Fertilization

Fertility Specialists Aid Mother's Gift: Carrying her Daughter's Child

Emily Jordan with husband, Mike, and her mother

When Emily Jordan was diagnosed with cervical cancer, her best option for recovery was a radical hysterectomy. For a young woman set on having children, this was devastating news. But with the help of medical center physicians and her mother -- who offered to serve as a gestational carrier -- Emily and her husband, Mike, are looking toward a bright future for their daughter.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Two Beautiful Daughters Come From Difficult Twin Pregnancy

Mono-mono twins and parents

It was clear from the start that Marjorie Bansfield's twin pregnancy would be
difficult. She was 45 and her twins shared the same amniotic sac -- a rare "mono-
mono" pregnancy that carries a very high risk for complications. "Marjorie's pregnancy presented many potential problems, so we needed to monitor her very intensely," said Mahmoud Ismail, MD, at the University of Chicago Medicine. "She got her twins to 34 weeks because she did everything possible to protect her babies, including letting our team keep a close watch on her."

Complex Surgery Gives Baby a Chance at Life


A routine ultrasound during a prenatal check-up revealed a large bulky mass on the neck of Shenella Parker's unborn child. Parker was referred to the University of Chicago Medicine Maternal-Fetal Center where a multidisciplinary team of obstetricians, pediatric surgeons and others performed a complex surgery to remove the tumor and ensure that the baby could breathe. Some parts of the procedure were performed while the baby was partly in utero -- still receiving blood and oxygen through her mother's umbilical cord.

Pelvic Floor Disorders

Urinary Incontinence: Not Just a Normal Part of Women’s Aging

Penelope Kausal and Greg Bales, MD

For Penelope Kausal, what began as "a tiny bit of leakage" in her early 30s evolved into a more serious case of urinary incontinence as she grew older. For many years, Kausal, now 68, assumed the incontinence was just a normal part of aging. The mother of five turned to University of Chicago Medicine urologist Gregory Bales, MD, who surgically restored her bladder to its proper position by supporting it with a urethral sling. "I just feel so much more comfortable about routine activities and being in public," said Kausal.

Women Find Help for Little Discussed Problem

Laura O'Brien, Sandra Culbertson and Silvia Wright

Both Laura O'Brien and Silvia Wright experienced pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that occurs when the connective tissue holding organs in place gradually weakens, causing organs to fall. Both O'Brien and Wright sought help from Sandra Culbertson, MD, who performed surgeries to repair the problem. "I chose the option that was going to give me back my lifestyle -- basically being active with my family," said Wright. O'Brien also had good results: "I feel great," she said.

Transabdominal Cerclage for Incompetent Cervix

Hope--and Two Daughters--After Successful Treatment

Maryann Gates, Katrina, Isabella

Maryann Gates now has two beautiful, healthy daughters. But a few years ago, she was mourning the loss of twins 19 1/2 weeks into her pregnancy. Gates experienced the pregnancy loss due to an incompetent cervix. After having a transbdominal cerclage procedure performed at the University of Chicago Medicine, Gates carried two pregnancies to term. Today, this Bolingbrook, Ill., resident enjoys being a mom to Katrina and Isabella.

Procedure Helps Family Find Happiness After History of Loss

Michele Arick, Alyssa, Abigail

On the path to parenthood, Michele Arick suffered multiple losses: five miscarriages, two ectopic pregnancies, and the loss of a son, Matthew, during the 21st week of pregnancy. She also struggled with infertility issues. After being diagnosed with cervical insufficiency -- and nearly losing another child after a failed transvaginal cerclage (TVC) treatment -- Arick traveled from Iowa to Chicago to have a transabdominal cerclage (TAC) treatment performed by Arthur Haney, MD. After having the TAC at the University of Chicago Medicine, Arick had two healthy baby girls.

Mandy and Aubrey Polatty

Memphis Family Recovers from Tragedy to Welcome Baby Girl into the World
Five years after delivering a baby girl, Mandy Polatty was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix at 19 weeks into her second pregnancy. Yet just a week after having a transvaginal cerclage treatment for her condition, Mandy delivered a stillborn boy. Mandy and her husband researched their options online and found the University of Chicago Medicine's Arthur Haney, MD, a well-known expert in transabdominal cerclage, a treatment for incompetent cervix that has a higher success rate than transvaginal cerclage. After having a prepregnancy transabdominal cerclage treatment at the University of Chicago medical center, Mandy delivered a healthy girl.


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