The Shocking Truth About Fibroid Treatments

You’ve been diagnosed with a uterine fibroid. You’re likely a little worried about the new diagnosis and have many unanswered questions about it. According to Dr. William Nghiem, there is no need to fret your diagnosis. You’re not alone. Approximately 80% of women will be diagnosed with at least one fibroid by age 50. The good news is that there are many treatment options!

I sat down with Dr. Nghiem, of The Fibroid Center of Horizon Vascular Specialists, to better understand options for treating fibroids and you’ll find my cheat sheet on fibroid treatments below. According to Dr. Nghiem, the only shocking thing about fibroids in the eve of the year 2020 is that most women are treated without ever being completely informed about ALL their treatment options. I hope that this article and my notes below empower our female readers to feel informed about fibroid treatment options (for themselves, a family member or friend) and unapologetic in asking relevant questions and seeking educated, trusted consultation.

CALL TODAY! 301-762-0277

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Three convenient office locations: rockville, germantown, frederick

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Here's Dr. Will From Horizon Fibroids
Here’s Dr. Will From Horizon Fibroids

Fibroid Treatment Options (in alpha order):

1. Endometrial ablation (that’s a new term for me!): For patients who have heavy menstrual bleeding, bleed in between periods or their periods last a long time, they may be offered endometrial ablation. This procedure essentially destroys the lining of the uterus, resulting in decreasing or completely stopping the menstrual bleeding. However, ablation typically does not help with menstrual cramping or other symptoms related to the size and location of the fibroids. Recovery estimate – takes about one week to return to normal activity.

2. Hysterectomy: This scary “H” word is when the uterus is removed (with or without the ovaries). The good news is that by keeping the ovaries intact, patients do not experience early signs of menopause. While effective, this is a major surgery that involves longer recovery times and typically, multiple incisions.

3. Medical management through medicine: Doctors may often start patients on a birth control or hormone therapy to regulate the menstrual cycle. The objective of this medication is to (hopefully) improve your symptoms. Medications do not get rid of the fibroids but may potentially shrink them temporarily. Besides the potential side effects inherent with medications, fibroid symptoms usually return once the medication is stopped and, more importantly, the fibroids tend to grow back. Dr. Nghiem indicated that either birth control or hormone therapy treatments are used.

4. Myomectomy, also known as fibroid removal: Myomectomies are one of the primary fibroid treatment procedures performed today. While generally an effective treatment, it is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia, longer recovery times (up to 4-6 weeks) and typically multiple incisions. This surgery can be performed laparoscopically or via a C-section. There were two facts about myomectomies that stood out to me in our discussion: patients that are due for laparoscopic treatment may end up with a full C-section or a hysterectomy if the physician faces any complications during surgery. And, the size, location or quantity of the fibroids in the uterus determine if a patient is the best candidate (or a candidate at all!) for this surgery.

5. Uterine fibroid embolization, also referred to as “UFE“: UFE is a non-surgical option to treating fibroids. This means that there is no general anesthesia, virtually no blood loss, the uterus is preserved and there is a shorter and less painful recovery time (recovery is about 5-7 days). According to Dr. Nghiem, the procedure aims to give patients permanent fibroid relief while getting them back on their feet in only a few days. While UFE has been proven safe and effective for over 20 years, many qualified UFE candidates don’t even know that this procedure exists. I sure didn’t! Surgical candidates are almost always candidates for uterine fibroid embolization as well. UFE appears to be a great option for women looking for relief from their fibroids, sans surgery. Horizon Fibroids

What Are The Symptoms of Fibroids?
What Are The Symptoms of Fibroids?

Here’s what I learned from Dr. Nghiem:

1. There is no need to stress your diagnosis. Yay for modern medicine!

2. It’s important that we understand all fibroid treatment options

3. Most importantly, however, is determining which treatment is best for you; given your stage of life, unique lifestyle and family planning and other variables. Once you fully learn all your options, you can truly make an informed decision about your own well-being!

Book a consultation with Dr. Nghiem today to determine the best procedure for you. And make sure to tell them that Sarah sent you!

xo, Sarah

CALL TODAY! 301-762-0277

ALL major insurances are accepted!
Three convenient office locations: rockville, germantown, frederick

Find out all of your options today!
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