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Fibroids
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Mary Jane Minkin, MD posted:
There have been several comments about fibroids, and as they are so common, I thought I'd just add a few general comments. Fibroids are indeed common; up to 50% of women will have some by the time of menopause. They are more common in African American women. Fibroids do tend to shrink after menopause-estrogen does tend to feed them; and if a mass in the uterus occurs after menopause, most gynecologists would recommend taking it out (because we'd be concerned it isn't just a benign fibroid). Women who take estrogen do unfortunately continue to feed their fibroids: but in general they don't continue to grow, but they don't shrink as they might otherwise do. Fibroids are just exuberant growths of the muscle wall of the uterus, and they do not in general require removal; they only need to be removed if they become excessively large and press on important organs (like your kidneys); or if they lead to excessive blood loss with periods. If a fibroid starts to expand rapidly, gynecologists will in general recommend taking it out, just to make sure it isn't one of the very rare times a fibroid turns into a tumor. Fibroids are usually quite benign.
However, if a fibroid does need to be removed, because of bleeding or size, AND the woman is finished with childbearing, I usually do recommend a hysterectomy (not taking the ovaries-leaving them in place). A myomectomy (surgery to remove fibroids) actually tends to lead to greater blood loss than a hysterectomy (even when done by quite experienced surgeons) and can lead to considerable adhesion (scarring) formation in the pelvis. Also, if you are treating heavy bleeding, taking out the fibroid alone sometimes doesn't cure the bleeding. Now of course, if the fibroid is sticking out into the uterine cavity, and the fibroid can be removed through the cervix, that is less complex than a hysterectomy.
It is always reasonable to get a second opinion on any surgery; however, sometimes a hysterectomy is the better operation for this problem, not a myomectomy.
Once again, it's always most important to be comfortable with your health care provider. (s)he is very important in helping you make a good decision.
Mary Jane
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pril1973 responded:
Thank you for this article. I have many fibroids and have gotten varying opinions on what to do about them. I have tried every non-surgical procedure there is and it has also been determined that other problems (cysts, endometriosis, etc) will prevent relief even with a hysterectomy. I am on progestin only birth control but unless I take it twice per day I still have a continuous period. Anyway, I had always been told hysterectomy was the end result of my condition(s) but have recently been told basically that it won't help.
 
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AlienAngel4ever responded:
Ladies who are considering a Myomectomy for treatment of your Fibroid's; do it!


The above is the "opinion" of another Dr.
A Hysterectomy is a miserable alternative.
It is much more invasive and healing time is much longer.
It is also an easier way for the Dr to treat-but not for you!!!

If you have Cancer?Remove the Uterus.If not, keep it.

There is NOTHING easy about having Fibroid's-regardless of what any Dr tells you.
Once they start growing, your periods,Hormones and general well being will all be affected.
Do not believe otherwise.It is EXACTLY like being Pregnant!!

My personal experience started in 2004-and resulted in my election to have the DiVinci assisted Myomectomy on July 20Th of this year.
(im 49 years old)

I had bled myself into Anemia-and given BC pills for the treatment of that -"stop the periods and let the body heal"-NOT!
Even followed the Dr. Lee protocol of using high doses of Progesterone Cream to try and decrease them.
Oh;and the other fun symptom - Peeing on myself all the time.
It was also suggested to get a trans-vaginal mesh to "support my Bladder" -can you believe that????
I had huge Fibroid's sitting on top of my Bladder!!!!!!!!!

For 7 years i have dealt with the very poor treatments by Dr's which set my body into a tailspin.
I did my own research (no Dr. referred me-so no credit to be given at all) and found the DiVinci web site.
From there i located a doctor in the Woodlands Texas area-very close to where i live.
Scheduled with him, sat in his Office,discussed my history-he did an Ultrasound, which showed 2 Baseball sized Fibroid's-which just 6 months prior had been described by another Dr. as "2 little Fibroid's"....
I scheduled for the Surgery-but it was going to be a month long wait.But i got a call that a Patient had to re-schedule her Surgery leaving open the Wednesday of that very week.
I took it.
The Surgery was done at Memorial Hermann of the Woodlands (AWESOME Staff!-cant say enough!)
When Dr. E. went in-he had to remove the 2 baseballs to also get the 3 others hiding behind them!So a total of 5 Fibroid's came out.I have 4 incision areas all about 1" long -they have all healed beautifully, i have had no bleeding.Most everything was calmed down by the end of the first week, post op.My right side is still a little sore -but just feels like "strain" -not painful.I have no regrets about doing this-and if you research it?you will see all Women are pretty darned happy afterwards!
Please respect the Body God gave you -and don't let blade happy Dr's butcher you!Go with your Gut feeling always and investigate other options.

Any questions?? I will gladly discuss.

Angela Hausinger
email: lookingtothestars@hotmail.com
 
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CarrieofCanada responded:
I recently had a large fibroid removed that appeared to have grown quickly. It was actually on the outside of my uterus, about 7cm in 3 months. My period was actually heavier and longer when I had it and went back to normal after being removed. While my surgeon had recommended the partial hysterectomy, I chose not too. She noted that everything looked very healthy while she was in there and I'm glad I didn't have my uterus removed.
Even though I'm 38 years old and not planning to have children, the idea of having a hysterectomy made me very emotional.
I disagree with having it needlessly removed. Just because I'm not using it doesn't mean my overall health will improve with having it removed.
My family doctor also agreed me.
 
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innocentsue replied to AlienAngel4ever's response:
EXELLENT INFORMATION!
I have often noticed by doing and researching myself, I can find leads to other help. YOU DID A GREAT JOB, and are to be commended.
Thank you for your share with and for "us"!
Sue (SF Bay Area, CA)
 
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innocentsue replied to CarrieofCanada's response:
I had one ovary removed at age 17, the other about 5 years later. Due to the painful adhesions (am 50 now), and being unable to have a child (so sad for me), my OB/GYN told me to get a hysterectomy since my uterues was only a "house for cancer".
I did NOT TAKE HIS ADVICE, and went on with my life. Became a career gal, and then came "the change". (BTW - another OB/GYN wanted to scrape off the adhesions due to the pain, but - even though I didn't want it - opted for low dose narcotics when it got real bad.)
AM I GLAD since I have had many I know get a "scrape" which damaged other cells, which turned into cancer. Oncologists said "oh, it is only little, and we can just scrape it off" (I always get a laugh at support groups - was my husband who went through this), as other got the same thing, only to get a BIG BLOB of damaged cells, which became the start of the "CANCER TRAIL", i.e. chemo - awful on either person (one who watches it, other who gets it. Rarely works (this has been the same story from others in the support group). Then, FINALLY (which c/h/b done at the beginning, or if the GP had referred to a specialist, (Long story why it wasn't), the organ removed.
This is a short version, but PLEASE CHECK into what some surgeons say is a "little" thing, as no invasive surgeries are.
BTW - I actually heard 4 MD's talking about how much and where they got the most money for doint chemo, and cancer centers which they get higher class clcientele, etc. MADE ME SICK!
I like the MD at the beginning, and thank the lord for MD's like her, and my GP..too bad my husband would not go to him - or his problem most likely would never have happened...or had he believed me - he would have gotten antibiotics for the blood in his bladder, rather than penicillin from his GP (as well as going to a heart specialist for his newly diagnosed HBP - but, SHE told him she was equipped to handle it, and he truseted HER...and, look what happened...)
I have been told by many lawyers, etc. I have a good lawsuit for him; however, I am against them, for tort reform, and believe people are only humans, I did write to her to tell her if I heard she tried to handle all facets of a person's problems again, I would 1) report her, and if w/in the statue 2) SUE HER~ (I would not, but tried to scare her.)
I went to her few times, but found she billed me 3X for appts never made nor gone to - so, ckd into background & FOUND SHE HAD LOST HER LICENSE (NO COMMENT ON WHY!").
Thank goodness for these websites!
 
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veggiegirl4life replied to innocentsue's response:
I'm a 52 y/o female who's been suffering with fibroids for about 10 years. I haven't had a period for over 3 years. I have always had ONE SYMPTOM ONLY - urinary frequency. There is apparently fibroid(s) pressing on my bladder. I had a UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) in 2004, but it did not help. Some days are better than others........it's quite common for me to be up 5 times during the night (I can't remember the last time I slept through a full night). Some days I will go every 10-15 minutes....it can be so horrible, but I've gotten used to it. With an occasional glass of wine or vodka drink, the after-suffering is hardly worth the 'temporary pleasure'. Drs. are no help and just want to do a hysterectomy ........ I've seen numerous.
I always tell myself that I could have worse problems than this (I'm very healthy otherwise), but the annoyance of living with this can be unbearable at times.
 
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ccmsps responded:
My last visit with my GYN told me I had a Uterine Fibroid that is inside and outside of the uterus. I hate to visit the GYN due to the pain. I'm single and without kids and like it that way!!!
So, what and when do I do anything about this? I am in menopause, so I am low on Estrogen/Progestrone. I have some auto-immune conditions where a TAH-BSO would cause me to bleed to death. So, do I just suck it in and deal with the Kidney and bladder issues? Do I have any options besides just having a PAP and Exam?? I know an U/S may pick up on its size, but that is just a test! ccmsps
 
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tweetyb421 replied to AlienAngel4ever's response:
I'm so sorry you had to go through so much, but I am happy you finally got the solution you needed. I had fibroids as well but decided to go another route. After years and years of heavy menstral cycles, and destroyed clothing, I finally said enough and sought out treatments. After conversations and consultations I finally decided on a UFE. A Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Menstrals are much less heavy and shorter...I would go for 8 days or more...it may not be a solution for everyone, but it was a great solution for me
 
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someonewhocares3 replied to AlienAngel4ever's response:
Angela,
Thank you for your post! If you read some of my other posts (especially over on the Women's Health Exchange), you'll see that I'm very vocal about the harm caused by hysterectomy. My gyn of 20 years gutted me for a benign ovarian cystadenoma despite the oncologist's recommendation to only remove the ovary. And as I'm sure you know, this is not unusual.

I'm sickened by how quickly gyns' will strip women of their organs, many of them only in their 20's and 30's. There's no time in a woman's life when her uterus and ovaries aren't essential. Yes, they're there for reasons other than reproduction.

I tell women if they need help finding a gyn who respects women's organs to contact the non-profit HERS Foundation - www.hersfoundation.com . There's a lot of info on their website too about female conditions and treatment options.

There's definitely something "rotten in Denmark" when 1 in 3 women has a hyst by age 60 and 1 in 2 by age 72. And despite ACOG's February 2000 published report that 75% of hysts are inappropriately recommended, the hyst rates have increased.

Please keep speaking out.
 
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someonewhocares3 responded:
A discussion of myomectomy vs. hysterectomy should involve much more than childbearing, blood loss, and adhesions. The main point that women need to know (but are seldom told) is that the uterus has lifelong functions; it's never "disposable."
Its removal has the following adverse effects:
- Increased risk of heart disease - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7457522
- Increased risk of bladder, bowel, and vaginal prolapse / incontinence -
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8677073
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16458626
- Loss of sexual function (desire, arousal, response) including loss of uterine orgasm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16098153
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/686046
- Increased risk of depression
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/686046
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20416028
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20229394
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(74)92074-1/abstract
- 40 - 50% chance ovaries will fail from loss of blood flow
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8256381
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3746790
- Fatigue and insomnia
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(74)92074-1/abstract
- Loss of pelvic integrity / physique changes caused by severed ligaments

See what women are saying about the effects of hysterectomy on their psyche and their lives:
http://www.hersfoundation.com/effects.html
http://hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com/2009/01/name-that-doctor-and-hospital_07.html

The benefits of staying intact cannot be overstated!
 
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Jeweltr replied to AlienAngel4ever's response:
Thanks Angela for your info. I just recently found out that I have fibroids. The largest being 8 cm. My docotor basically said I should have a hysterectomy, but I would like to try herbs. My doctor of course completely disagree and doesn't believe in herbs. I want surgery to be my last resort. I did some research and found an herb called Yarrow that has been known to break-up and heal women of fibroids. I just really do not want to be cut on and Dr.Oz says this is the #1 unnecessary surgery done on women.
 
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someonewhocares3 replied to innocentsue's response:
Innocentsue — I'm curious about how you went through "the change" if you had both ovaries removed when you were young. You would have gone into "surgical menopause" when your remaining ovary was removed (unless a piece of it was left or you had a third ovary which is possible). Did you take HRT and then quit taking it at some point which triggered the menopausal symptoms?

Of course, you were wise to ignore those gyns' recommendations — that of the organ-robbing gyn who wanted to remove your uterus and the other one who wanted to scrape off adhesions. More surgery = more adhesions!

BUYER BEWARE is just as applicable in the medical industry as it is in any other!
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
I wanted to thank everyone for such a great discussion. You've all been very respectful and open to listening to one another's stories and valuing them.

Two things: It's fine to share physician names who are in the media, like Dr. Oz, but NOT personal physician names. Secondly, please do be cautious about how much personal information you share. We discourage you from posting too much in order to protect your own safety.

Thank you again,

Byroney


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