CLEVELAND, Oh. (KFSN) -- Intestinal malrotation affects one out of every 200 or more babies born in the U.S. It can cause abdominal pain and cramping. In extreme circumstances the condition can be fatal. Some cases are diagnosed right after birth. But one woman had to wait over a decade before she found relief.
Darcy Lamond loves a good game of basketball with her kids, but four years ago a sharp pain in her abdomen nearly sidelined her.
"It felt like someone had driven a stake through my center and it was coming out the back," said Lamond.
Each of those episodes would last 12 to 18 hours.
Lamond shared, "I wasn't able to go to work. I certainly wasn't driving the kids to school. I wasn't able to take care of the household. I wasn't able to do anything."
Lamond found out her pain was caused by intestinal malrotation, a condition she was born with where her intestines did not form correctly inside her abdomen. After she was diagnosed at age 26, she went from doctor to doctor for nearly 15 years to get her symptoms under control. Then she met Kareem Abu-Elmagd, MD, PhD, FACS, Director, Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Abu-Elmagd said, "The solution is to reconstruct the whole gut the way it is supposed to be. Like you are arranging your kitchen and your bathroom." (Read Full Interview)
Dr. Abu-Elmagd pioneered the new surgery, where he moved the intestines to secure them inside the abdomen after rotating the bowel 180 degrees. After the procedure, Lamond felt immediate relief.
She said, "Now I feel like more of a complete person."
A person who is not missing any part of the game.
Since this condition is often misdiagnosed, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic say most patients with malrotation tend to already have their gallbladder and appendix out. The original physicians may have thought the symptoms of malrotation were related to those organs.