The risks associated with growing fibroids are often underplayed by many doctors. The goal for many is to avoid surgery, and often avoid even those treatments that are non-invasive until a fibroid becomes problematic. Women hear “watch and wait” from many medical practitioners: from gynecologists, general practitioners, physician’s assistants, and internal medicine doctors. This philosophy is outdated and actually increases the risks of infertility, miscarriages, abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, bloating and uterine distortion, putting women at a higher risk for a hysterectomy.
“The common practice of letting fibroids grow if they aren’t symptomatic puts women at risk of infertility,” said Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD. “Once they become symptomatic, which they will, they can obstruct fallopian tubes or the cervix making it harder for women to get pregnant, or create scarring, and change the shape of the uterus, making it harder for embryos to attach to the womb.”
The location of a fibroid, and not its size, is the key factor regarding fertility.
Fibroids that distort the uterine cavity (growing within the uterine lining, or developing within the muscle with an intracavitary component) can result in difficulty conceiving a pregnancy and pose an increased risk of miscarriage. Miscarriages, and early deliveries are often the result of fibroids that weren’t treated prior to the pregnancy. Studies have shown that the removal of fibroids that misshape the uterus can dramatically reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Removing a fibroid when it is smaller through a minimally invasive myomectomy can prevent the overwhelming complications that leave many women with lost pregnancies, wasted infertility treatments, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding, any one of which can lead to a diminished quality of life. If performed by a fibroid removal specialist, these procedures are often easier for the surgeon to perform, and on the patient for recovery. If performed by a non-specialist, incisions may be larger, or if performed with a robot, there can be 5 incisions across the abdomen leaving visible scars.
Damage Created By Pressing Pause On Fibroid Treatment
Many women are used to suffering through their periods. Even though it is not normal, the myths that pain associated with your period is normal, or heavy bleeding just happens as you get older can delay necessary diagnoses of complex GYN conditions. Understanding what is normal versus what you are experiencing means getting active in your GYN health care and becoming an advocate for yourself.
How to tell if your period is normal: Pelvic Pain and Abnormal Bleeding
Because it can frequently be dismissed as “normal for me,” the delay in recognizing that something is not quite right with your menstrual cycle can also be a problem. Getting all of the facts about what is truly normal is essential.
Encouraging both patients and their doctors to seek minimally invasive surgical treatment for fibroids earlier can mean a better recovery. Recognizing the signs helps to reduce the risk of future fibroids growing out of control. This can mean a healthier life, and for women who want to get pregnant, a better chance at a full-term, healthy pregnancy.
Faster Recovery with Minimally Invasive Fibroid Removal Surgery
Having fibroids removed does not have to mean an invasive surgery with a large open incision or a procedure with a robot. As these surgeries are high risk and more expensive, with relatively long recovery times, it is important to do your research and find a minimally invasive GYN surgeon who can remove fibroids laparoscopically without the use of a power morcellator, which has been shown to spread undetected cancer cells in the pelvic cavity.
LAAM is a fibroid removal surgery developed at The Center for Innovative GYN Care that allows patients with fibroids of any size or location to have them removed safely and thoroughly. Using just 2 small incisions, one 5MM incision at the belly button, and one 1.5 inch incision at the bikini line, the advance trained surgical specialists can feel and remove all fibroids while repairing the uterus by hand to ensure it heals properly for future fertility.
Performing a minimally invasive myomectomy requires extensive experience and fellowship training.
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GYN surgical specialists can often see women sooner because they are focused entirely on surgery. Each patient gets detailed, in depth attention from Dr. Natalya Danilyants and Dr. Paul 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.