When it comes to fibroids, the struggle is real. Symptoms like pain and bleeding can be severe, they can result in tiredness and anemia from blood loss, and can disrupt your whole life. Many are embarrassed to speak up, only to discover when they finally do that other women experience similar symptoms, and struggle to find relief.
LETTING FIBROIDS GROW IS DANGEROUS
Bethenny Frankel of The Real Housewives of New York City recently opened up about her GYN health and how fibroids have affected her life. When she was initially diagnosed a few years back she was told fibroids are common and surgery was not necessary. Years later she got to the point where she had experienced a miscarriage and was suffering from iron deficiency due to very heavy GYN bleeding. It’s important to know fibroids tend to grow and even small fibroids can become very large and can cause severe symptoms. The earlier symptoms are addressed, the less invasive surgery is, and if fertility is desired, the uterus can be better preserved.
Anemia from heavy GYN bleeding due to uterine fibroids can lead to potentially life-threatening complications like congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and/or heart attack. More on the dangers of anemia here. Large fibroids can also damage other delicate structures in the pelvis, they can affect kidneys and impact circulation. More about the lesser known risks of fibroids here.
FIBROID TREATMENT WITH MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH
When surgical treatment is indicated, fibroids can be removed through hysterectomy, which is definitive treatment as they will not grow back, or myomectomy, which is fibroid removal surgery with preservation of the uterus, for women who still wish to conceive. Fibroids will grow back after a myomectomy and additional surgery may be necessary. Thorough and safe removal is very important with a myomectomy as the uterus needs to be repaired correctly so it can hold a growing baby. Even small fibroids should be removed to allow for a successful pregnancy and longer relief without the need for additional surgery.
Either fibroid removal procedure can be performed with safe, minimally invasive approach to allow the patient to get back to her routine within days rather than weeks. With the advancement of laparoscopic techniques, open GYN surgery, with up to 2 months recovery time, is no longer necessary.
When Bethenny shared her journey dealing with fibroids on ABC’s Good Morning America, she spoke about her inpatient open myomectomy with 3 days in the hospital and a long post-operative recovery of 6 weeks. Women should know, open myomectomy is no longer necessary. Fibroid removal, with preservation of the uterus, can be performed with laparoscopic approach, leading to a much faster recovery. With the LAAM (Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy) procedure, fibroids of any size and number are removed with 2 small incisions, and recovery is 10-14 days. This is also an inpatient procedure, which due to the minimally invasive technique, does not require any hospital stay.
SURGERY WITH AN OB/GYN VS A GYN SPECIALIST
A woman’s relationship with her OB/GYN is very important. The OB/GYN is an obstetrician, a primary care physician, an office gynecologist, and a part-time fertility specialist, oncologist, and surgeon. While there is no other specialty comparable to that of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the primary focus of OB/GYN is not GYN surgery. When it comes to complex GYN conditions and surgical treatment, it’s best to seek the opinion of a specialist, who performs an increased volume of surgeries and this way maintains and develops surgical skills and expertise, perfecting the approach.
At CIGC, we work closely with our patients’ regular OB/GYNs, who often refer their patients to us for advanced minimally invasive surgical treatment of conditions like fibroids and endometriosis. Valinda Nwadike, MD, an OB/GYN based in Southern Maryland who has been referring patients to us for over a decade, recently decided to undergo herself laparoscopic hysterectomy with the innovative DualPortGYN technique at CIGC. She is now saying:
“I would recommend DualPortGYN to anyone. It is the procedure women deserve. It’s revolutionary. If you laid out all the types of hysterectomy that women can have side by side, why wouldn’t you choose this? I was showing my teeny incisions to my colleagues and they were amazed. They all have the CIGC number now and are making appointments.”
You can read her full story here: OBGYN Chooses CIGC For Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
GET A GYN EVALUATION
Women looking to get evaluated by CIGC’s advanced surgical specialists Dr. Paul J. MacKoul MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants MD can call 888-SURGERY or book an appointment online. Out-of-town patients travel to the Washington DC area for minimally invasive GYN surgery through our travel program. CIGC has offices in Bethesda, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA.
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