Don’t Suffer With Fibroids; Get the Facts About Myomectomies
Women who have fibroids often have difficulty with heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, difficulty going to the bathroom and many experience infertility or miscarriages. Fibroids can grow to be very large, making some women look pregnant. Learn the facts about myomectomies so that you can be prepared when seeking the best possible treatment.
Myth 1: For large fibroids, the only solution is an open myomectomy, and often a hysterectomy is necessary.
Fact: In the past, women with large fibroids (greater than 250g, about the weight of a large grapefruit), had to have open myomectomy surgeries with 6-8 inch incisions, and the subsequent painful recoveries could mean being out of work for up to 2 months. These surgeries were complicated with longer times under anesthesia and higher risk of bleeding, so many were converted to hysterectomy to avoid further complications. Even with being told in advance that the conversion to hysterectomy is possible, it can be devastating to come out of surgery to discover that you are no longer able to bear children.
Today, advancements in minimally invasive GYN surgical techniques make it possible to remove all fibroids, large or small laparoscopically. The LAAM technique developed by the specialists at The Center for Innovative GYN Care is a hybrid approach, taking the best of open and laparoscopic procedures, ensuring that all fibroids are removed, while the incisions remain small. LAAM is a laparoscopic assisted abdominal myomectomy that uses a 5MM incision at the belly button and a 3CM incision at the bikini line to remove all fibroids. To date, the largest fibroid removed via LAAM was 6000g (13lbs, about the weight of a medium sized watermelon).
LAAM is performed by advanced trained minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists at CIGC, and does not require the use of a robot or a power morcellator, a device used to cut up large fibroids within the uterus to make it easier to remove through standard laparoscopic or robotic procedures. These devices have been shown to spread undetected cancer in the pelvic cavity.
Myth 2: A myomectomy is easier to recover from than a hysterectomy.
Fact: Even with minimally invasive procedures, a myomectomy is more invasive than a hysterectomy, because the patient has to heal from the inside out. The incisions made in the uterus to remove the fibroids need to be thoroughly repaired to ensure it is strong enough to carry a growing fetus. Many women who are done having children and are prone to fibroids still wish to retain their uterus. It is important to weigh the pros and cons over keeping your uterus as fibroids do not disappear after menopause, though they may slightly reduce in size. While fibroids will not continue to grow after menopause, women who have had multiple myomectomies may still have difficulty well into menopause.
It takes 3 months for full recovery from any myomectomy procedure before it is possible to start trying to conceive. The benefit of newer minimally invasive techniques is that women are able to return to their lives faster after surgery so that they are in a better place emotionally and physically to start trying to conceive as soon as they are cleared by their doctor.
Robotic procedures can take between 4-6 weeks to recover, and open procedures can take up to 2 months. Being in pain and limited mobility for that amount of time can get in the way of planning for a family.
Myth 3: My OB/GYN is the best person to perform a myomectomy. I don’t need a second opinion.
It is important to have a great relationship with your OB/GYN since often obstetrics or gynecological visits can be stressful. But, when it comes to performing complicated gynecological surgery for complex conditions like removing large fibroids, especially when preparing for fertility treatments or trying to conceive naturally, it is essential that you seek a minimally invasive GYN surgical specialist.
Fellowship trained minimally invasive GYN surgeons focus only on advanced laparoscopic procedures and have the skill and experience necessary to remove all fibroids and thoroughly repair the uterus. The best solution is to find a surgeon who is highly skilled to perform your surgery, and who will consult with your OB/GYN to ensure a full circle of care. Look for a minimally invasive GYN specialist, and prepare yourself with our questions to ask your surgeon so that you know you are in the best hands.
You can also travel for surgery if you are in an area without a minimally invasive GYN surgical specialist. The CIGC travel program welcomes women from around the country, setting up initial conversations by phone, helping them return to their lives faster with less pain.
BOOK A CONSULTATION
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.