Anne M., Omaha, NE: LAAM Minimally Invasive Fibroid Removal Travel Patient
“I had fibroids for 2 years and I had a GYN who was very laid back about them,” said Anne M. “I was trying to conceive. After about a year, the fibroids were clearly a problem. Even after I went back to that doctor, she continued to downplay them.”
Watching and waiting is an out-of-date approach to managing fibroids, and can lead to major problems when it comes to getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term.
The location, and not necessarily the size are often the major concern. Submucosal fibroids, those in the uterine cavity, and intramural fibroids, those within the uterine muscle are the most troublesome for fertility. However, large fibroids can block fallopian tubes not allowing an embryo to pass into the womb, or create uterine distortion so that an embryo is not able to properly attach to the womb.
“After that, I switched doctors, but that doctor had the exact opposite advice, saying I needed surgery right away, I was infertile, and she was really harsh about it. She said I would need an open procedure, and that if I wanted to get pregnant down the line I would need to take 6-8 weeks off.”
Fibroid removal, also known as a myomectomy, is a procedure that removes the fibroids from the uterus, but leaves the uterus for fertility. The surgery requires repairing the uterus after each fibroid is removed, and can have a long, painful recovery if the procedure is performed with an open incision or with a robot. With these types of procedures, there is not good control of blood loss, and patients may require a transfusion, or the surgeon may not be able to remove all of the fibroids due to excessive blood loss or time under anesthesia.
EXPERIENCING FIBROID SYMPTOMS
“I had very heavy periods. I always felt like I had to urinate, even if I didn’t. I’m a thin to athletic build person, and over the last year, my stomach was always bloated. I realized now that was from the fibroids. As you get older, you start thinking that maybe certain exercises aren’t working.”
“I had started a new job, and I didn’t want to take that much time. I wanted to get rid of them and at the same time I was scared to death. Thinking long term I knew I should do something about this, but in the short term it was scary and not something I wanted to do. So I started looking online. I was looking for anyone who had had a positive experience about this surgery, thinking maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. I didn’t find anyone on the local message boards, but that’s when I found The Center for Innovative GYN Care.”
Anne discovered that a laparoscopic myomectomy without a robot was possible.
LAAM MINIMALLY INVASIVE FIBROID REMOVAL SURGERY
CIGC welcomes fibroid travel patients from around the world. The state-of-the-art LAAM procedure is only performed at CIGC. It is a hybrid technique that takes the best of laparoscopic fibroid removal procedures (small incisions) and open procedures (thorough removal). LAAM uses an advanced technique called retroperitoneal dissection, the surgeon is able to see the entire pelvic cavity, and using bilateral uterine artery occlusion, blood loss is minimal. This is an advancement over other procedures, as they cannot control for blood loss, which limits the size and number of fibroids that can be removed. With LAAM, all fibroids can be removed, no matter the size or the number. The incision at the belly button is 5MM, no bigger than a papercut. Through the lower 1.5 inch incision, the CIGC surgeon can repair the uterus so that women who wish to maintain fertility will have a better chance of conceiving and carrying a child to term.
In her search for the best fibroid removal procedure and the best fibroid removal doctor possible, Anne decided to travel from Omaha, NE to CIGC in Rockville, MD for LAAM fibroid removal surgery with Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD.
“At first, I was skeptical because it seemed too good to believe,” said Anne. “And then I started wondering if I would even be a candidate. I had 13 fibroids that needed to be removed.”
Anne continued to do research about the procedures and the specialists.
“I read the success stories. I used to work for a gynecologist when I lived in Pittsburgh, PA. I reached out to him and, he said I can’t tell you what to do, but this looks like a phenomenal option. My friend’s sister at Johns Hopkins has also been learning about this approach. After hearing from two people I trusted that this looked like something worth pursuing, I was willing to give it a shot.”
CIGC MAKES TRAVELING FOR SURGERY EASY
“Dr. MacKoul has always been great at explaining things and helping me know what’s going on. He was much more empathetic than my other doctors and he asked questions that really helped with my comfort level. He cared about my experience and my opinion, whereas one doctor in Nebraska made me feel like I was overreacting, and the other made me feel like a science project.”
“It’s all so professional. The surgical facility was so clean. The attention to detail, the travel patient care bag, and the card I got after returning home thanking me for traveling, all of those little things mattered. Everybody was very friendly. I think I was the first face of the morning. The pre-op nurse and everyone I met was warm and welcoming. Regardless of the type of surgery, you are always I bit nervous. They put me at ease and the nurse who followed-up with me the day after was phenomenal. I had an entourage. My parents and my in-laws came to the surgery center, and the staff was welcoming to them as well.”
FASTER RECOVERY WITH LAAM
“By the next day, I was sitting up in the hotel room. I took the narcotics for 2 days and after that I didn’t need them. After 10 days I was back to normal. No complications, no severe pain. I was working out after 2 weeks. I have my abs back now. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was until after I had the surgery. I’m a runner. I literally feel like a concrete block has been removed from my abdominal area. My commitment to health and wellness shows now. I do Barre pilates. I’ve done a couple of 5 mile races since the surgery. I’m back to normal, but better than normal used to be.”
BOOK A CONSULTATION
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 J. 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.
Offices are conveniently located throughout the Washington D.C. area in Rockville & Annapolis in Maryland, and, Reston in Virginia. Women looking for a GYN specialist for a laparoscopic hysterectomy, endometriosis excision or fibroid removal travel to CIGC from around the world.
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.