Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors caused by the rapid growth of tissue cells in the walls of the uterus. They can affect up to 80% of the female population but only about 25% to 30% will have actual symptoms interfering with the quality of life that need treatment.
Uterine fibroids can cause infertility because they can affect the uterus and cervix, the organs at the center of the female reproductive system. They can alter the shape of the cervix or block the fallopian tubes, making it more difficult for the sperm to fertilize the egg. They may also change the shape of the uterus or affect the thickness of its lining, which decreases the likelihood of implantation. In addition, a significant mass effect from fibroids makes for a high-risk pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage.
Fortunately, fibroids are not incompatible with pregnancy but they tend to grow faster and bigger during pregnancy. With today’s technology, we are fortunate to have a whole arsenal of therapeutic options at our disposal.
Treating Uterine Fibroids
Treatments for this condition vary depending on the size, number, and location of the fibroids. In most cases, fibroids don’t require immediate attention unless they’re causing severe symptoms, such as:
Excessive bleeding during menstruation
Chronic bloating or abdominal pain
1. Uterine Fibroid Embolization:
Also known as uterine artery embolization, should be your first treatment option. Your gynecologist should offer you this procedure before offering you any traditional hysterectomy or myomectomy. Never accept hysterectomy as a sole option. Always explore other minimally invasive procedures so you stay in control. You can always resort to hysterectomy if nothing else works, which is very unlikely.
Know that almost 650,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year, and according to The Lancet Medical Journal, 75% of those hysterectomies are unnecessary.
You would never accept mastectomy (breast removal) for benign breast disease, why would you do so for benign uterine disease?
UFE is a same-day, no incision procedure in the office lab. No hospital stay is required and you are up and running in 5-7 days. Compare that to a two-month downtime with any conventional surgery.
It is your right to be informed about all your options. After you are fully informed, if you choose to have conventional surgery/hysterectomy/myomectomy, it is absolutely your right.
In addition, if you are of childbearing age, know that pregnancy is possible after UFE. We have many patients who have gotten pregnant after the UFE procedure.
In today’s modern medicine, uterine fibroid embolization is considered the “iPhone” of procedures!
Medications can be helpful in managing symptoms, but they will not resolve the root cause of your fibroids or adenomyosis. You will still need a more definitive treatment.
Common oral medications such as ibuprofen, iron supplements, and hormonal birth control are often prescribed to manage fibroid symptoms. For severe cases, a doctor may prescribe hormones or a hormone antagonist. These medications aren’t without side effects. Hormone treatment can predispose to blood clots and brittle bones.
You should never accept a hysterectomy as a first option! Not in 2022 and not after.
Unless you have been informed about all available options, including uterine fibroid embolization and you clearly decided you wanted a hysterectomy, do not accept it as the first option EXCEPT if you have been told there may be uterine, cervical cancer, or other malignancy.
If you are offered hysterectomy as the only option, leave that office and give us a call. You will be happy you did.
Myomectomy can be an appropriate option in select cases, especially as an option for patients with a single fibroid who desire future pregnancies. If you have multiple fibroids, myomectomy then becomes more complex and may lead to hysterectomy during the operation. In addition, your fibroids are very likely to come back down the road and you will potentially need more surgery. Myomectomy does carry the same risks and downtime as a hysterectomy.
Finally, hysterectomy and myomectomy are still traditional surgery regardless of whether it’s done via a large incision or laparoscopy or dual-port or robotic, etc…There is nothing minimal about that. Instruments are still going to come in contact with other organs, scars will form, and not be much reduction in downtime!
At this time, it’s not possible to prevent the condition. Researchers are still investigating the cause of fibroids, but there are things you can do to promote better health. Obesity and being overweight are real risk factors for many diseases. So good lifestyle choices and exercise are free and go a long way to promote good health.
In addition, staying up to date with your wellbeing checks and screenings will help you take control and be ahead of the curve.
Consult an Expert
If you have uterine fibroids and are experiencing fertility issues, consulting an expert is the best way to meet your health goals. Contact the experienced specialists at Image Guided Surgeryto schedule your consultation today.
Just make an appointment to consult your options with Dr. Gaugau
Dr. Nordine Gaugau is truly exceptional in his expertise regarding fibroids. His extensive knowledge and proficiency in addressing related concerns instill confidence in his patients. Dr. Gaugau's adept understanding of the subject matter is matched by his skillful execution of treatments, reflecting a high level of competence. What sets him apart is not only his medical prowess but also his remarkable bedside manners, creating a comfortable and supportive environment for patients.The positive experience extends beyond Dr. Gaugau himself; his staff members are a testament to outstanding customer service. Their cheerful demeanor and respectful approach make every interaction a pleasant one. The team's commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere leaves patients eager to return, fostering a sense of trust and satisfaction in the overall healthcare experience provided by Dr. Nordine Gaugau and his dedicated staff.
Amazing doctor and staff. I’ve had my procedure done three months ago and I have ZERO symptoms. I got my life back and I’m grateful to God for that.Ladies, you do have options! Don’t settle for hysterectomy or myomectomy. Call Dr. Gaugau. You won’t regret it!
I cannot say enough great things about Dr. G and his staff, especially Ms. Keisha at the front desk. Dr. G takes his time to listen and educate you; not once did I felt "rushed" or judged. I suffered from terrible menstrual cramps (for many years), irregular and heavy periods and I've been going to different OB-GYNs and they couldn't find the problem and said my cramps are "normal" or it'll go away. My husband found this place and forced me to book an appointment (I hate going to the doctor). Well, turns out I had a few cysts on my ovaries which explains why I was constantly bloated and menstrual issues. So I had my UFE procedure in July 2023 which was relatively quick and painless. When I got home, I had a bad reaction to one of the pain meds but Dr. G and his staff responded quickly, even though he was in vacation. That really shows how much he cares for his patients. It's been a few months now since my procedure and I felt so much better. This place is so rare because in the medical field, you usually have doctors with terrible bedside manners or grumpy front staff. Ladies, do yourself a favor, stop the research and book an appointment with Dr. G.
First let me start by saying how thankful and grateful I am to Dr. Gaugau and his amazing staff. EVERYONE was kind, professional, and hospitable( which is a lost art these days). Anyway Dr. Gaugau is extremely knowledgeable, he listens, and explains everything in great detail. And most importantly he made me understand that hysterectomy is NOT the only option for fibroid treatment. The fact that he did not force the hysterectomy as an option but presented ALL of the options to me means a lot and because of that I am able to make an informed and wiser decision.
I had my procedure last Wednesday October 25th. I had very little pain. Dr. Gaugau and his team is the best. From the front desk staff to the nurse. They all made sure I was tooken good care of. I went back today for my one week follow and I feel amazing. I wish I knew about Gaugau sooner. Trust me .You won't be disappointed.
I was referred to Dr. Gaugau by my cousin. She had the UFE procedure done in 2020. She was very pleased with her procedure and outcome so I decided to contact him myself. First off Miss Keisha is amazing. Her spirit and silly nature is so calming. We laughed and joked about life and our kids. Dr. Gaugau is also such a pleasure. It's great when you have a doctor that you can tell is knowledgeable and has excellent bedside manner. It also put me at ease. The nurse Bonnie is an absolute doll. She is down to earth and also has amazing bedside manner. Miss Dawn is sooo sweet too but you can tell she is a bit on the shy side. It is hard to find that in the medical field nowadays with so many people in burnout mode. But it is such a breath of fresh air to see it in all the departments in one place! I recommend Dr. Gaugau for anything dealing with your fibroids! The whole staff is great! 10/10!!!
Dr. Gaugau is recognized as TOP Interventional Surgeon throughout the Maryland region and appears as a Medical Expert on the TOP Doctors Interviews, which are seen on popular radio stations