When a woman is diagnosed with a complex gynecological condition like fibroids or endometriosis, being told out of the gate that you need to have surgery can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. This is especially true if a surgeon recommends an open procedure for either a myomectomy (uterine sparing fibroid removal) or a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). It is essential for any woman who is facing GYN surgery to always get a second opinion. Ask a lot of questions of doctors, friends and support groups.
Renee Brown Small started The Fibroids Project in 2010. She was diagnosed in 2006 with uterine fibroids. Her doctor immediately recommended surgery and seemed in a rush to schedule it. Without a second opinion, information and the overwhelming feeling that she needed to do more research, she left that doctor’s office and never went back.
The next few years she became determined to understand everything about fibroids. Her search for information, a doctor who would be a partner in determining the best approach to managing her fibroids at each stage, and stories from her family, friends and acquaintances all culminated into the realization that there needed to be one stop shop for women.
From www.fibroidsproject.com: “The way that I came into contact with these resources was mostly through word of mouth from other women who were diagnosed with fibroids. A lot of the information was invaluable and I would not have been privy to this information if I hadn’t been vulnerable, told women my story, and then heard from them that they had a similar story or knew someone who did.”
In 2010, The Fibroids Project was born.
“When we started in 2010, our tagline was ‘Helping women with fibroids,'” said Mrs. Small. “We have now become more focused and aim to provide women with a 360 degree view of fibroids. We want to help them become fibroid free.
“Fibroids not only affect a woman’s physical condition but also her mental condition, and her quality of life. We are now providing experts in the field that will address all areas of a woman’s life when she has fibroids. This includes physical health, mental health, relations, fashion, and more.”
Increasing awareness of fibroids and new advancements in surgical options is something that The Center for Innovative GYN Care and The Fibroids Project share. There is a lot of information out there, much of it conflicting, so many women are still in the dark about the best options for their condition.
“Many women are unaware of what fibroids are until they are diagnosed,” said Small. “If they ask other women, they all start to say ‘Oh yes, I have fibroids!’ Or ‘I know a friend/sister/mom/aunt who has them and couldn’t have a baby’. I think one of the major issues is that it’s so private and many women still aren’t talking openly about it.”
Getting The Conversation Started: The Fibroids Project Speaker Series.
“(For The Fibroids Project speaker series) We have experts provide their view on one of the issues women deal with related to fibroids. This can be anything from treatment options to relationship issues to health coaching.”
On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, CIGC Co-founder Dr. Natalya Danilyants will be a featured speaker for The Fibroid Project expert speaker series. Dr. Danilyants will discuss the benefits of advancements in minimally invasive fibroid removal.
The LAAM procedure is a minimally invasive uterine sparing fibroid removal surgery that uses only 2 small incisions to remove fibroids of any size or number. LAAM stands for laparoscopic assisted abdominal myomectomy. It takes the best aspects of open and laparoscopic procedures: thorough fibroid removal with minimal scarring. Women recover in 10-14 days with less pain than an open procedure.
Sharing these advances in minimally invasive GYN procedures in a forum where women can ask questions and share their own experiences will encourage others to start investigating alternatives to more invasive surgical procedures.
“Our goal is to become the #1 fibroids resource in the world,” said Small. “I’m looking forward to making that happen. I’m also looking forward to seeing more and more women be aware of treatment options, prevention options, and becoming fibroid-free.”
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Surgical specialists can often see patients sooner because they are focused entirely on surgery. Each patient gets detailed, in depth attention from Dr. Danilyants and Dr. MacKoul. This personalized care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.
CIGC TRAVEL PROGRAM
Even if you are not from the DC area, many patients travel to The Center for Innovative GYN Care for our groundbreaking procedures. We treat women from around the world who suffer from complex GYN conditions.
Learn more in our travel program.