At the end of January 2016, Aziza S. went for an ultrasound to figure out why she was having heavy periods.
“The technician casually said, ‘Let’s check on those fibroids that you had five years ago.’ I said emphatically, ‘I don’t have fibroids. What fibroids?’ She replied ‘Here on your chart we saw them during your last emergency room visit.’”
In neither the visit to the ER nor her visits with her primary care doctor had Aziza ever heard the word “fibroids”. In the 5-year interval since the trip to the ER, the fibroids they had detected had now grown substantially.
“I left the ultrasound feeling angry, betrayed and victimized knowing that 5 years of ignorance let my then three fibroids grow from 2cm to 9cm, 4cm, and 5cm with an additional 3cm in the group.”
Delaying treatment for fibroids can negatively affect fertility in some women, depending on where they are located and how large they are.
AZIZA WAS GIVEN LIMITED OPTIONS TO TREAT HER MULTIPLE FIBROIDS
“I quickly exhausted the medical expertise of the OBGYN providers in my state, each one looking relatively grim at my situation in terms of maintaining fertility. My fibroids were a mixed bag (I.e. Intramural, submucosal and subserosal). At age 34, I still wanted to have children or at least one, and was now faced with talks of hysterectomy. I said NO!”
Many doctors recommend hysterectomy for fibroid removal because the surgery will eliminate future fibroids from growing. In many cases, doctors are not comfortable removing multiple or large fibroids from the uterus due to the risk of blood loss and the time required under anesthesia to remove them. When time passes and fibroids grow, these risks increase, as well as an increase in risks to the integrity of the uterus.
“It was one thing to have been silently growing unchecked tumors out of medical neglect and ignorance, but it was another thing to face a hysterectomy because of it. So many nights I laid on the floor flooded with tears and praying to God as I searched alternative therapies online, read through countless women’s stories of battling their fibroids, surgical/non-surgical treatments and testimonials of women all across the country. My research and optimism led me to believe that alternative therapies along with dietary changes would be my best non-surgical option to get my fibroids to shrink. I wanted to give myself a whole year of change before I decided on any surgery. Within months of employing various changes to my dietary and physical health, I thought I was winning. I started feeling less bulky, more energy, less menstrual blood and I lost a small amount of weight.”
“In July, I went in for a MRI which revealed 8 fibroids, (double the number the ultrasound showed) 2 of which were showing signs of necrosis. The growing number told me that I needed to get them out via surgery. I started investigating places across the country who could do a myomectomy and still save my fertility. By God’s sweet grace I found The Center for Innovative Gyn Care (CIGC).”
CHOOSING LAAM FIBROID REMOVAL AT CIGC WITH DR. NATALYA DANILYANTS
Aziza met with Natalya Danilyants, MD who recommended a LAAM myomectomy. Aziza started planning for her travel right away.
“My initial phone consultation with Dr. Danilyants was truly the beginning of a turnaround. She informed me that maintaining my fertility and removing the fibroids would not be an issue.”
For women with fibroids who are of childbearing age, and who want to maintain fertility, the CIGC-trained laparoscopic fibroid removal specialists are able to perform LAAM, a minimally invasive myomectomy that allows the patient to retain her uterus and recover quickly. LAAM uses 2 small incisions, one 5mm incision at the belly button, and another 1.5 inch incision at the bikini line. LAAM allows the surgeons to thoroughly remove all fibroids, no matter the size, location or number, and the uterus is repaired by hand. The surgeon is able to feel all of the fibroids. This cannot be accomplished by a robot or with standard laparoscopy. LAAM patients are back to themselves in 2 weeks or less, a significant improvement over open procedures that require 6-8 weeks for recovery.
TRAVELING TO CIGC FOR LAPAROSCOPIC FIBROID SURGERY
Aziza was still at a point in her life where fertility was possible and she was interested in trying to have children.
“Dr. Danilyants alleviated my fears. This is all she does every week – perform and correct complicated OBGYN cases like mine. The icing on top of all this great news was that the recovery time was much faster than any other procedure. This was also a huge point of concern for me as I would primarily have to go through this surgery alone, and needed to be ambulatory as quickly as possible.”
Despite a personal loss just before her surgery, Aziza managed to forge ahead with her surgery.
“I made my travel arrangements to CIGC along with a close friend, who passed away abruptly before my surgery. Overwhelmed with grief and slightly panicked as I was in need of a companion to the surgery, I pulled out a favor of someone I knew in the DC area. My LAAM myomectomy surgery happened as planned on Jan 24, 2017.”
WHAT THE MRI MISSED
Dr. Danilyants had removed 25 fibroids and an ovarian cyst from Aziza.
“The number of fibroids was more than I had thought possible. Despite the shock of the number, I was able to recover from day 1 without much assistance. This was of huge significance to me! The CO2 gas and bowel pain were significant afterwards, but lessened with rest, walking, and lots of fiber! I feel that I received the best surgical outcome possible anywhere!! A few weeks after, walking fully upright as if it didn’t happen, I returned to normal activities & work.”
“Tons of gratitude to Dr. Danilyants, the surgical team and staff for making this extreme fibroid surgery possible for me and putting my body on the right path for fertility. God Bless you all and thank you so very much.”
BOOK A CONSULTATION
The CIGC state-of-the-art specialists are available at three locations in the DC metro area. Virginia patients can visit the Reston, VA location, and Saturday appointments are available. Maryland offices are located in Rockville, MD and Annapolis, MD.
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. The CIGC founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD, developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind. Dr. Rupen Baxi, MD is a CIGC-trained minimally invasive GYN specialist with extensive fellowship training and a respected speaker and researcher.
Their personalized approach to 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.