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Getting Fibroid Free: My Journey to the Lighthouse


emPower Magazine

fibroid free celeste doaksIn a recent editorial piece for emPower Magazine, The Center for Innovative GYN Care patient Celeste Doaks recounted her story of suddenly finding herself with rapidly growing fibroids threatening her ability to get pregnant. Her remarkable story is similar to many women who find themselves battling these tumors. Although fibroids are benign, they can cause life-altering symptoms like uncontrollable menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and bloating. Celeste recounts her experience and how the growth of her fibroids made her uncomfortable in social situations like lecturing to her students or being on stage.

“When I first was diagnosed with fibroids I can’t say I was totally surprised, because my mother had experienced them during her pregnancies. However, she had birthed two children—with no major issues in relation to her fibroids—so I figured why worry myself? But my optimism wore off about a year and a half ago when I saw my stomach getting larger for no apparent reason. I am a vegetarian, and have eaten healthy for years, so I couldn’t understand why my stomach was growing and I was gaining weight. My weight ballooned quickly to over 150lbs, when typically I hovered around 135-137lbs. I didn’t have heavy, uncontrollable cycles like some women have, but I was having painful sexual intercourse. All of this in addition to my stomach, which looked like a 3-month pregnancy, caused me to immediately seek guidance.”

Fibroid Free: A Minimally Invasive Myomectomy for Large Fibroids is Possible

In addition to sharing her experience with fibroids, she also shared her experience at CIGC with Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD. Minimally invasive fibroid removal is possible for women with large or multiple fibroids. This was eye-opening for Celeste, since every other source said she would need an open, invasive procedure that wouldn’t necessarily save her uterus.

“I was elated to discover a hybrid surgical option to remove my fibroids that was minimally invasive, required only a small incision during outpatient surgery, and an estimated two weeks of recovery time. This seemed like a miracle! I had to see this doctor before making my final decision. During my initial visit, Dr. Danilyants was optimistic about performing the procedure and seemed confident that I could keep my uterus. In August she performed a LAAM (laparoscopically assisted abdominal myomectomy) surgical procedure on me.”

The LAAM procedure uses 2 small incisions, one 5MM incision at the belly button and a one inch and a half incision at the bikini line. Our advanced trained minimally invasive GYN specialists are able to remove all fibroids using this technique. They can feel each fibroid and remove it and repair the uterus by hand, so that it heals properly for childbearing.

“… I am fibroid free and kept my uterus. While I am not pregnant yet, Dr. Danilyants made our dream of having a baby a real possibility.”

Read Celeste’s full story at emPower Magazine.

About the Author Celeste Doaks: Poet and journalist Celeste Doaks is the author of Cornrows and Cornfields, (Wrecking Ball Press, UK). Her poem “For the Chef at Helios Whose Name I Do Not Know” has just been nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. The Huffington Post, Village Voice, Time Out New York, and QBR (Quarterly Black Book Review) have published her journalism. Currently, she teaches creative writing at Morgan State University and loves to be followed on Twitter @thedoaksgirl.

About The Center for Innovative GYN Care: The Center for Innovative GYN Care is a state-of-the-art minimally invasive GYN surgical practice based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The fellowship trained GYN specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD developed DualPortGYN and LAAM techniques to treat all complex GYN conditions with just two small incisions. To learn more about the center, the doctors and their groundbreaking minimally invasive procedures, visit or call 888-SURGERY. You can follow them at

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