“A mother’s love” conjures up a beautiful image, an overwhelmingly intense emotion born between a woman and her child.
To realize it is a dream of many, the decision often met with a great deal of thought, love and purpose. The accompanying emotions are wide ranging and all consuming: excitement, fear, anxiety and joy.
Unfortunately, it’s disappointment and grief felt by the 15 percent of women who experience fertility issues. It’s a devastating realization, but one Dr. Rami Kaldas, M.D., a board-certified gynecologic surgeon and obstetrician, and the founder of the Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy, S.C, associates with an uncharacteristically positive feeling:
He is deliberate in including such a bold adjective to describe an often considered whimsy emotion. The team at the Kaldas Center has the education, tools and the expertise to back up such confidence in their ability to fulfill the dream of pregnancy.
“Invariably people are overwhelmed with emotion because no one has actually made them understand (infertility) and given them definite hope,” Dr. Kaldas says. “It’s not an indefinite thing. This is what you’ve got, this is what we’re going to do about it and these are your chances (of becoming pregnant) after we do it. And if it doesn’t work, this is what we’re going to do next.”
Understanding endometriosis: The Kaldas Center approach
While each woman and their body is unique, among those struggling to get pregnant, Dr. Kaldas asserts that their infertility is likely due to the same, sole condition.
“If someone has not become pregnant in over a year and everything else — the husband or boyfriend being checked, the other labs — is fine, I truly believe that it is endometriosis unless proven otherwise.”
The chronic condition affects one in 10 women. Dr. Kaldas simply describes endometriosis as “uterine lining gone bad, wreaking havoc outside the uterus,” and attributes it to being the cause of more than half of all infertility cases. Cells that normally grow inside the uterus grow outside of it, resulting in the body’s immune response blocking pregnancy from occurring. This creates inflammation, scarring and pain.
The largely accepted treatment for endometriosis is one Dr. Kaldas considers old fashioned and unnecessary.
“Ninety nine percent of obstetricians are burning endometriosis and that makes it worse,” he explains. “You have to think of it in a three-dimensional way — it’s not paint on a wall, it’s an iceberg. You’ve got to cut it out.”
The Kaldas Center is the number one clinic in Wisconsin to excise endometriosis using a laser, removing the problem all together rather than removing surface tissue one visit at a time. They are the experts in this technique.
“I had the very good fortune of being taught by the person who was the very first to put a camera on a scope and connect a laser to it,” Dr. Kaldas says. “While the patient is asleep we essentially put laparoscopic instruments through tiny incisions and pick up the endometriosis, laser around and underneath it and remove it. It’s that easy… it typically takes me half an hour to an hour and I’ve done several thousand surgeries.
“The sad thing is, we see young women who want to get pregnant with ovaries being removed for endometriosis that just don’t need that done. Seeing patients who are being treated with outdated techniques is disappointing.
“(Education) has become a mission and a gospel because we’ve seen so much nonsense. And on top of that, fertility cycles and medication are expensive. We want people to find us sooner rather than later because they go through so much.”
An uplifting, local space for holistic treatment
The Kaldas Center — now with an entirely new and custom-designed location at 701 S Nicolet Drive in Appleton — thrives on educating and understanding their patients and all they go through, and has created a space that is conducive to the struggles and joy that go along with the scope of sentiments their patients experience. It’s both calming and bright, and contemporary and comfortable.
“When they walk in, (patients) feel uplifted,” Dr. Kaldas says. “That was the whole goal, and it really worked up to our expectations. We didn’t want a typical medical office. We needed it to be a different sphere, a different world. It has nothing to do with what you’ve been through in the past.
“We really aimed to make it look like the combination of someone’s home and a cafe. Every exam room, for example, has a bistro table in it with a wooden top and wrought iron legs. Most of the exam rooms have antique chairs. It gives people a warm feeling but it also makes them think outside of the box, that this is going to be different. They should be hopeful.”
The Kaldas Center believes that form follows function and vice versa, and that was the mantra behind the design and construction of their new space. The more accessible location — near the Appleton International Airport and interstate — holds an overwhelmingly comforting quality along with modern and state-of-the art equipment.
“We want people to know that you’ve got expertise right here that you will not find crossing one or even two states,” Dr. Kaldas says. “And it was important to us, especially for sufferers of recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis and pelvic pain to feel at home… so many have been in a way negated before.”
The entire team at the Kaldas Center undoubtedly has a standard of care that elevates them — it’s a combination of their work ethic and philosophy for caring for patients. But it’s also clear that it’s deeper than that. The dreams they help make come true and the hope they deliver to families is their purpose in life, not simply their work.
“I had a wise older gentleman recently comment on a mutual friend of ours who had a terminal illness,” Dr. Kaldas explains. “He said that maybe after our friend made it through that they’d stop working and focus on philanthropic things, maybe they’d regret that they had worked so much.
“I thought to myself that if someone told me that I was going to die tomorrow and I had worked the whole day before, I’d say great... I’d be so happy.”
“Results are what matter. Not only on the medical front and the fertility front but also psychologically and emotionally.” —Dr. Rami Kaldas
“We have a fundamental human element. We don’t just go through the motions.” —Dr. Rami Kaldas
Awareness and healing
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, created in an effort to educate women about the diagnosis, how it affects fertility and quality of life, and what can be done to help.
Do you have a first-degree relative with endometriosis? The chances of inheriting the condition increase 7 to ten fold. Symptoms include:
- Excessive pain with periods
- Frequent pain during intercourse
- Pain/diarrhea with bowel movements
- Inability to become pregnant in over a year
- Abnormal bleeding
Dr. Kaldas recognizes that his and his teammates’ ability to treat endometriosis efficiently comes from their technology and commitment to their art at the Kaldas Center. Helping spread that message to those who need it is what it’s all about for them.
“I have so many favorite parts of my day because I have such an incredible team here,” Dr. Kaldas says. “But it’s when the shingles fall from people’s eyes, it’s that ‘I once was blind but now I see’ element that I love.”
The gift of motherhood
“Wanting a baby and (being) unable to conceive was a very emotional and challenging time for us, but Dr. Kaldas made this process easier and comforting. He always made me feel like there was still hope and we still had options to try… After the delivery of our daughter there was so much joy in the room shared by everyone. (Dr. Kaldas) really took the time to get to know us on a personal level and knew how much this baby meant to us.” —Danielle
“It had been two and a half years of trying to have a baby, two doctors, thousands of dollars, an undetermined diagnosis for infertility and one heartbreaking miscarriage before I walked into Dr. Kaldas’ office for the first time. As we discussed the road my husband and I had been down trying to have a baby, Dr. Kaldas listened attentively and laid out a plan he believed would work for us to have a baby on our own. Leaving his office that day, I felt a renewed sense of hope for the first time in a long time. We followed his treatment plan the very next month and to our surprise and excitement, we were pregnant with our first baby boy!” —Heather
Thank you from the Kaldas Center!
“Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in creating this beautiful new place for us to help people solve their problems and challenges achieving their family goals… we feel privileged to come and work here every day. It takes a community… and we thank all who have taken part.”
Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy, S.C. is there for you
701 S Nicolet Road, Appleton