Raynelle’s Journey to Motherhood: From Fibroids to Fertility

Fibroid symptoms commonly present as severe pain, heavy bleeding, or even anemia. Some women, like Raynelle, don’t experience any of these obvious signs, but fibroids can be silently keeping them from conceiving. Raynelle wasn’t aware of her fibroids until she had issues getting pregnant, but with minimally invasive surgery at CIGC she was able to  have a child.

Fibroids and Fertility Raynelle's Journey to Motherhood

“I realized that I needed to get checked out. My OBGYN said that the fibroids were now the size of a small grapefruit…and there would be no room in my torso for them and a baby. She recommended an open myomectomy. I went for a second opinion and that doctor said the same, open myomectomy, 4-6 week recovery.”

Raynelle wanted better options than a 4-6 week recovery from open surgery: “My mother, my husband, my sister, my mother-in-law – anyone who had a stake in me getting pregnant – all started doing research and talking to friends. Two separate sources recommended CIGC. Finding a more convenient, less invasive approach was the perfect solution at the right time.”

Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy (LAAM) myomectomy is a uterus sparing procedure, performed on patients who are able to retain fertility, that can be performed in outpatient settings. CIGC surgeons use 2 small incisions to remove fibroids of any number and size. The uterus is repaired by hand in layers so that, as it heals, it is strong enough to carry a baby to term. Women recover faster, with less pain, and are usually back to work in less than 2 weeks.

Women with fibroids trying to get pregnant can find experienced, state-of-the-art options at CIGC. CIGC advanced laparoscopic specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul and Dr. Natalya Danilyants have provided minimally invasive surgical treatment for thousands of fibroid patients. To schedule an evaluation, give us a call at 888-SURGERY or reach out online. Patient testimonials are available on the CIGC website, and on doctor review sites: Natalya Danilyants, MD Reviews | Paul MacKoul, MD Reviews.

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Innovations in GYN Care: An Interview with Authority Magazine on the Future of Healthcare

In a recent Q&A with Authority Magazine writer Christine D. Warner, I discuss the lack of expertise when it comes to minimally invasive GYN surgery as well as the potentially adverse outcomes women may face as they seek to heal from complex GYN conditions.

Future of HealthCare PJM_compressed

In the U.S., the OBGYN generalist is the patient’s “go to” source for GYN surgery. Patients build a “bond of trust” with their OB, and when surgery is needed, that trust translates into the same OB performing surgery. But is that OB really a surgical expert, and one that can provide the best possible care?

During my residency training, this problem became clear. Many of the OBGYNs responsible for training me were having difficulty. If a bladder was inadvertently injured — call the Urologist. The bowel was “stuck” to the uterus — call the General Surgeon. The patient had large fibroids and was bleeding during a myomectomy, or there was extensive Endometriosis making every pelvic organ including the uterus, tubes and ovaries adherent to each other — call the GYN Oncologist. It was obvious that the GYN Oncologist was indeed the OBGYN’s surgeon, and was often “on call” for difficult cases that the OBGYN could not handle. As I began to see GYN Oncologists at work, I realized I had no choice but to try and become one of them. I focused the remainder of my residency on surgery as much as I could, and moved on toward a fellowship program in GYN Oncology.

Read the full Q&A with Medium Magazine author Christine D. Warner: The Future of Healthcare: “A New Way to Perform Laparoscopic Surgery” with Dr. Paul MacKoul

Advanced laparoscopic procedures provided by CIGC Co-founders Dr. Natalya Danilyants and Dr. Paul MacKoul, help women recover faster after GYN surgery, with less pain. To schedule an evaluation, give us a call at 888-SURGERY or reach out online. Patient testimonials are available on the CIGC website, and on doctor review sites: Natalya Danilyants, MD Reviews | Paul MacKoul, MD Reviews.

There Are 12 Days Left in Endometriosis Awareness Month. Do You Have All The Facts?

Imagine living with debilitating and disruptive pain for up to 10 years before a doctor accurately diagnoses what is happening to you. For nearly 300 million women worldwide, this is what it’s like living with endometriosis.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and women everywhere should get the facts about endo pain and how to find relief. Early detection and intervention can minimize the pain and damage endometriosis can cause.

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Endometriosis is more than just painful or heavy periods; it occurs when endometrial cells implant in other parts of the body outside of the uterus, causing painful inflammation and bleeding that coincides with a woman’s period. These cells have been found on the bowel, in the lungs, even in the brain.

The only way to diagnose endometriosis it is through laparoscopy, a procedure by which an endoscope, or small camera, is inserted into the pelvic cavity via a small incision. Removing endometriomas requires the skill of an advanced-trained GYN laparoscopic specialist who can repair delicate structures in the uterus, bowel, or other areas of the pelvic cavity.

Although there is currently no cure for endometriosis, relief from endo pain is possible with the GYN specialists at CIGC.

Read more about endometriosis treatment success stories and treatment options in this recent CIGC article: March Is Endometriosis Awareness Month

To get in touch with an advanced CIGC surgical specialist Dr. Natalya Danilyants or Dr. Paul MacKoul, call 888-SURGERY, or reach out online. Women residing outside the Washington DC area, who consider traveling for advanced GYN surgery, can look into CIGC’s travel program.

Think Twice Before Getting UFE To Treat Fibroids

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-invasive method to treat fibroids that many women consider. It is a procedure performed by radiologists who insert a small catheter into the large vessel in the groin, and then they find and block with plastic particles the vessels that feed the fibroids. Women who want to become pregnant should know: UFE has limitations and may have long-term effects on fertility.

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UFE is a good approach to control bleeding, but in younger patients the long-term control of fibroids is very limited. Additional fibroids can grow or the fibroid that was embolized can reestablish blood supply. We highly recommend to women who are told they can get embolized and still want babies, to reconsider the approach because it can affect implantation of the embryo into the lining of the uterus, where the baby grows. With fibroid treatment, it’s important to preserve the blood supply and it’s also important to preserve the lining of the uterus.

According to UpToDate®, the premier evidence-based clinical decision support resource, there is an adverse effect on women who have become pregnant after having UFE:
“A systematic review and several case series of pregnancies following UFE or UAE have reported adverse outcomes including miscarriage, preterm delivery, placental problems, and malpresentation.”

Safe fibroid removal, that does not affect fertility, can be achieved with laparoscopic myomectomy using the LAAM technique. This approach was developed by CIGC surgeons Paul MacKoul MD and Natalya Danilyants MD and it takes the best elements of both laparoscopic and open approaches for myomectomy. It is safer than open or robotic procedures, and more effective than UFE at preserving the uterus for fertility. With 2 small incisions, one 5MM incision at the belly button and a 1.5 inch incision at the bikini line, fibroids of any size, number or location can be removed.

Learn more about the risks of UFE and safer treatment for fibroids in this WTOP News article:

Women With Fibroids Should Think Twice Before Getting UFE


BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

If you would like to get a GYN evaluation for your fibroid symptoms, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. CIGC has offices in Bethesda, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA. Patients who reside outside the Washington DC area travel to CIGC through our travel program.

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DualPortGYN Hysterectomy: Live Webinar May 18th @ 8 PM

Join me and Dr. Natalya E. Danilyants, MD on May 18th @ 8 PM for an interactive live webinar on DualPortGYN ‪hysterectomy: a safer & less invasive hysterectomy using two 5 MM incisions and 1 week recovery time. Our former patient Michelle will participate to talk about the procedure she had in December 2015 and how she has been feeling since.

It’s important to know hysterectomy surgery doesn’t have to be a painful or invasive procedure. There are safer options, with better recovery, that women should be aware of. During the event, we will answer your questions. We encourage all participants to submit their questions during or prior to the webinar. Click this link to register today and save your spot: Register Now! A Safer Hysterectomy Webinar, May 18th

Hysterectomy Webinar

At CIGC, we focus on highly advanced surgical techniques to perform minimally invasive GYN surgery with 2 small incisions and recovery in days rather than weeks. To find out more about our approach to GYN surgery, see the DuaPortGYN and LAAM pages on InnovativeGYN.com


If you are looking to get a GYN evaluation with a CIGC specialist Paul MacKoul MD or Natalya Danilyants MD, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. To read our patients’ feedback, go to patient review sites: Dr. Paul MacKoul Reviews | Dr. Natalya Danilyants Reviews

Rashetta’s Story: Minimally Invasive Removal of Large Fibroids is Possible

RashettaCIGC patient Rashetta from Washington DC first found out she had fibroids in college. A cyst on her ovary ruptured and she had to go to the hospital. On a follow-up ultrasound, Rashetta found out that she also had fibroids.

About 70-80% of women will get fibroids by age 50. Fibroids affect African American women 2 to 3 times more frequently than white and Hispanic women. Also, African American women are more likely to develop problems with fibroids at an earlier age, with the fibroids growing faster, becoming larger, and causing more bleeding and anemia than in women of other races.

THE WATCH AND WAIT METHOD FOR LARGE FIBROIDS DOESN’T WORK

“For years I saw the same doctor, waiting and watching my fibroids grow, and for a while, the pain wasn’t altering my daily activities. But then, the pain got progressively worse. I found myself in bed, crying in pain.”

Many doctors advise their patients to delay surgery if fibroids aren’t bothering them. The problem with fibroids, especially large fibroids is that they will continue to grow and frequently cause serious damage to the uterus. For women who wish to maintain fertility, avoiding to remove the fibroid when it is first discovered can lead to far worse symptoms down the line.

MINIMALLY INVASIVE MYOMECTOMY FOR LARGE FIBROIDS

A friend of Rashetta’s had a procedure with Paul MacKoul MD and told her that a minimally invasive myomectomy for a large fibroid is possible with this surgeon.

“I was hesitant to change, because my doctor knew my history, but I figured it couldn’t have hurt to have a conversation with him,” said Rashetta. “Even from my first consultation, the feeling that you get when you first meet someone and feel comfortable, that’s how I felt. When I first met him and he walked me through the procedure, he was so thorough. He drew out what was going on with my fibroids, and I realized in talking to him that I shouldn’t have done the watch and wait approach.”


The LAAM technique developed by minimally invasive GYN surgeons of The Center for Innovative GYN Care uses only 2 small incisions to safely remove fibroids of any size. LAAM is an important development, as it allows the surgeons to feel all of the fibroids. Patients return to themselves post surgery within 2 weeks.

 “I planned to be off for 2 weeks, and I can work from home, so while I stayed home for 3 weeks, I was back working after 2. That was a far cry from the 2-3 months the other doctor told me. The first couple of days after a myomectomy are painful. And I needed someone to be at home with me for that.”

RAISING AWARENESS OF FIBROIDS & MINIMALLY INVASIVE FIBROID REMOVAL

Rashetta’s journey has brought The White Dress Project in Washington DC and she now heads the DC chapter, raising awareness of fibroids and minimally invasive fibroid surgery.

 “I really feel like I was meant to work with this organization. It’s an issue that not a lot of people want to talk about and there isn’t a lot of awareness. I have a friend that is just now scheduling the surgery. She knows that I’m involved with The White Dress project, and I’m going to sit down with her and give her as much support as I can. But, if any woman has questions (about fibroids or minimally invasive surgery) don’t be afraid to ask Dr. MacKoul.”

BOOK A CONSULT

Call 888-SURGERY or visit us online to schedule a consult with a fibroid specialist of CIGC. Out-of-town patients can benefit from innovative GYN procedures at CIGC through our travel program.

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The Leaders in Raising Awareness of the Fibroids Crisis

We are in a fibroids crisis, and they are being treated by many medical practitioners as though they are the equivalent to a headache. Watch and wait. “If they aren’t bothering you, you don’t need to do anything about them” is a common phrase uttered in exam rooms. It dismisses the fact that fibroids can, and very often grow to sizes that can disrupt plans for having a family.

Fibroids-Article-CompositeIt is not as well known that fibroids have been responsible for infertility, miscarriage, and forced emergency Cesarean deliveries. For many women with fibroids,  the journey towards motherhood can be challenging and often filled with heartache and loss.

The leaders in raising fibroid awareness are aiming to provide access to the most up-to-date information about treating these tumors. From legislation, to support forums, to fertility coaching, women with fibroids trying to get pregnant can now find experienced, state-of-the-art options that weren’t available when their mothers struggled. Learn more about these efforts in CIGC’s recent blog: Barrier To Motherhood: Raising Awareness Of The Fibroids Crisis


CIGC minimally invasive GYN surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve surgical results. Get to know us on InnovativeGYN.com and through online patient reviews: Dr. Paul MacKoul Reviews | Dr. Natalya Danilyants Reviews