Behind the Mask: Meet Charlotte’s new pelvic pain expert

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Our Behind the Mask series, produced in partnership with Atrium Healthtells the stories of healthcare heroes in Charlotte.

Dr.Nita Desai is a fellowship-trained Gynecologic surgeon at Atrium Health Women’s Care Urogynecology & Pelvic Surgery.

What this means: She helps patients with conditions like chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, pelvic floor dysfunction and more.

  • She also performs the full spectrum of gynecologic surgeries, with a focus on minimally invasive techniques.

The background: She moved to Charlotte and joined Atrium Health in October. Before that, she:

  • Completed medical school at Ross University, a residency at Drexel University and a fellowship at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
  • Became a board-certified OB-GYN in 2013.

The impact: Dr. Desai is the only female pelvic surgeon with a focus on minimally invasive gynecology and pelvic pain in the area.

Dr Desai. Photo: Atrium Health.

Why did you choose this specialty?

Since medical school, I have always been drawn to women’s health.

  • Here’s why: I felt it was the field where I could make the biggest impact not just for individual women, but their entire families.

The story: During my minimally-invasive GYN surgery fellowship, I had the privilege of seeing many patients with pelvic pain and I really enjoyed working with them.

Now, my practice lets me marry both of those interests. I’m able to help patients dealing with chronic pain, who may think that there are no options left for them.

  • Even better: I’m able to help them with minimally-invasive surgeries, so they feel better even faster.

What is minimally-invasive surgery?

What this means: They’re one-day surgeries that get patients back to their lives and their families much sooner. Surgery is a bump in the road, not a major pit stop.

Even just two decades ago, many of these surgeries required large incisions.

  • Luckily, technology and education have improved and we can now perform them with tiny incisions.

I focus on benign surgeries that treat conditions related to chronic pelvic pain.

  • Some examples: I see a lot of patients who have endometriosis, large fibroids or menstrual bleeding that didn’t respond to other treatments.

How common is chronic pelvic pain?

Unfortunately, it’s very underreported because most patients are so used to just living with the pain.

  • In other words: Women are taught that for a week out of every month, they’re going to have a lot of pain. We get used to living with it because it’s not something we talk about often.

Okay, goal: Today, patients are really advocating for themselves in a way that they were never able to do 10 or 20 years ago.

  • It’s one of the best things to come out of social media; information is power, and even if the information isn’t perfect, it sparks the question.

What Atrium Health is saying: If you have chronic pelvic pain, or need surgery for your gynecologic condition, you have options. Your OB-GYN can help you find the right treatment.

You’ve only lived in Charlotte for a little while, but do you already have any favorite spots?

I really love Haberdish, as well as the donut place around the corner, Reigning Donuts.

Even better: One thing I really missed when I wasn’t in the south was sweet tea, so I get that as much as I can now.

What do you do in your free time?

I spend a lot of time with my family. We love to get together and hang out and have movie nights. Being closer to my family is one of the biggest reasons I moved back to the south, so it’s been great.

Atrium Health is bringing world-class healthcare to Charlotte with experts in a variety of specialties.

This content was created in partnership with Atrium Health.

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