Olivia Culpo has undergone surgery for endometriosis, over a year after being diagnosed with the painful condition.
The former pageant queen, 28, shared photos and a lengthy message about the three-hour-long procedure she had undergone on Thursday.
The first photo of her slideshow appeared to capture Olivia awakening from her surgery as she spoke with her doctor at her bedside.
‘I needed to share this to create more awareness’: Olivia Culpo has undergone surgery for endometriosis, over a year after being diagnosed with the painful condition
The star lay in bed wearing a head cap and face mask as she gazed towards her doctor with weary eyes.
‘Yesterday I had surgery for my endometriosis,’ Olivia began in the caption. ‘Not a very glamorous post but I felt like I needed to share this to create more awareness around this disease. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the uterine lining decides to grow in other random parts of your body, causing pain.
‘This can interfere with fertility and overall health and honestly – happiness. To top things off it is excruciatingly painful but nearly impossible to see through an ultrasound (unless you have endometrioma/chocolate cysts on your ovaries- that’s what I had). I have been in agony for years around my period and I was misdiagnosed countless times by doctors.
‘”Just take Tylenol every day” “ultrasound looks normal,” “I think you just need to rest more, periods are always uncomfortable for people,” etc. I know a lot of people out there in the Endo community are familiar with these diagnoses which is why I am so passionate about this. Painful periods are not normal!!! I want to say thank you to @drvilasagar_endosurgeon and the amazing hospital staff at @atriumhealth who took care of me.
On the mend: The photos captured Olivia laying in her hospital bed wearing a hair cap and face mask
‘You guys were literally angels to me and I am so grateful. To anyone out there who has endometriosis, I understand the depression, and overall loneliness that can occur with a condition that is so painful yet so hard to be interpreted by other people outside of the body.
‘It’s hard when chronic pain is not validated and you don’t get an answer or understanding. To my Endo warriors, I will continue to spread more awareness around endometriosis so that your symptoms can be validated. You are not alone and you are so strong !!!!’
In subsequent photos and videos, Olivia showed off the heart-shaped bandages covering her pelvis and belly button.
Sending love: Culpo’s doctor covered her incisions with heart-shaped bandages
‘Here I am, post-op’: Culpo showed off her bandages and swollen stomach on Thursday
‘Here I am, post-op,’ Olivia said in her Instagram stories, as she posed in the mirror with her bandaged belly on display.
‘My stomach looks like not like it used to. I’m so swollen,’ she said.
She also pointed out the ‘cute’, heart-shaped bandages her doctor placed over her incisions.
‘These are my little incisions, how cute. My doctor’s the best, and she did little hearts. And I was supposed to get a fourth one here, but I didn’t, and that surgery was actually over three hours… wanted to be able to avoid scarring. I’m so happy, so grateful that it went well,’ she said.
Speaking up: Olivia has been candid with fans about her battle with endometriosis, a painful yet common condition with impacts the uterus
‘My stomach looks like not like it used to. I’m so swollen’: The star said as she updated fans on her procedure
Olivia has been candid with fans about her battle with endometriosis, a painful yet surprisingly common condition with impacts the uterus.
In an interview with Shape, Olivia revealed she had been in ‘agony’ before she was finally diagnosed ‘a year-and-a-half ago.’
‘It was a really frustrating experience, which is one reason I’m so passionate about talking about it,’ she told the health and wellness magazine.
‘I knew there was something wrong before that,’ she said. ‘I had gone to a number of doctors in agony — crying, shaking. When you’re living with chronic pain, you don’t know if you want to throw up or just curl into a ball and cry.’
‘So swollen!’ The former pageant queen showed off her post-op torso
It took a ‘six-month journey’ for the star to get down to the bottom of it.
Fortunately the condition was properly diagnosed in the nick-of-time, as Olivia’s fertility could have been compromised had her diagnosis and treatment been delayed any longer.
‘Good thing, because my condition was advanced, and she needed to check my eggs immediately to make sure my fertility was intact,’ she explained.
Olivia announced with her diagnosis over the summer, telling her Instagram followers: ‘I’ve never publicly said this before but I have endometriosis. Anyone else reading this have Endo? No fun.’
Right in time: Fortunately the condition was properly diagnosed in the nick-of-time, as Olivia’s fertility could have been compromised had her diagnosis and treatment been delayed any longer