Unique surgery gives young mom something to be thankful for

For years, the only comfort 39-year-old Jessica Griesbach could find was through nature.
She had severe back pain, urinary and breathing problems, and became nauseous and bloated after eating. 

"In March of this year, I woke up in the middle of the night having some severe symptoms and I went to the ER," she says.

Jessica's intestines were twisting; caused by a condition she was born with but didn't know she had. It's called intestinal malrotation, and it's when the intestines are misplaced. In Jessica's case, they were pressing on vital organs.

"The problem with that is your intestines can wrap around each other and you can lose all, or part, of your intestine. You can also have obstruction which can cause death," Cleveland Clinic Dr. Kareem Abu-Elmagd says.

Jessica turned to the internet and found Dr. Abu-Elmagd. He suggested a surgery that he invented, where Jessica's intestines would be moved, separated and secured properly inside her abdomen, saving her intestines and avoiding the need for a future transplant.

"We're using the patient's own organ to fix it in an anatomical way. And place it like, reorganizing, like your kitchen or your bedroom, using your own furniture making your house look pretty, and safe," Dr. Abu-Elmagd explains.

After surgery, the impact was immediate. Jessica's back pain and urinary symptoms disappeared, and she's now able to enjoy a meal without feeling sick.

"I would say the relief I've gotten since surgery has been miraculous. It's night and day and you know, even, I'm still recovering so there are some little things, but the things that feel better are worth every bit of the surgery," she says. 

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