Hysterectomy? Really? That's the standard treatment for symptomatic fibroids? This is 2010, right?
Those were just a few of the questions that leapt to mind after I was diagnosed with fibroids. I like to think I have more than a sentimental attachment to my uterus, so I decided to do some research of my own, and found there are options that spare your uterus, even options that preserve your ability to bear children if that is something you want. I came to UCLA for a consultation because they offer all the available non-surgical, and surgical interventions for uterine fibroids.
My treatment turned out to be a combination of the two; Dr. Raman performed MRI guided focused ultrasound as Step 1 and believe me, it will restore your faith in technology. It's a completely non-invasive, out patient treatment, with little to no recovery time. After the procedure I went home, took a long nap, and woke up with fewer symptoms from my fibroids! I still wonder if there wasn't some form of magic employed. Step 2 was meant to be robotic arm laparoscopy but morphed into myomectomy due to the size, and density of the fibroid. That Dr. Tarnay had been prepared for this possibility, even discussed it with me prior to surgery, is another reason I'm glad I chose UCLA. The fact that uterine fibroids are so common, something like 70% of women have them, would have made the idea of focused treatment centers seem like a no brainer, but I bet if you're reading this you've been told that you need a hysterectomy.
It's hard to express how happy I am with my outcome, and experience without it sounding as if I'm resorting to hyperbole. I actually have relief from symptoms I didn't even know that I had the watchful waiting period before I chose to DO something merely allowed my body, and mind to become accustomed to the fatigue, and pressure that grew right along with my fibroids. If you're ready to DO something about your own fibroids do yourself a favor, and have an assessment at UCLA; a state-of-the-art hospital that attracts innovative, talented doctors who will help you find the treatment option - or options as it was in my case - best suited to you.
It has been 10 months since my FUS procedure, my periods are much lighter and shorter, I no longer have to urinate every five minutes, and my bowels are finally regular.
I had no pain during my procedure, and was back to work the next day. I have yet to find an OB/GYN that I feel comfortable with, or any who are currently informing their patients about FUS as an option for treating fibroids. While I understand that there is an inadequate number of long-term studies on FUS patients, and that as a result, most insurance companies are still not covering the cost, I do not understand why doctors are not telling women about it.
It is a doctors right to express their medical opinion about a procedure, but it is their duty to stay informed about all the latest treatments, and to be sure they make their patients aware of what those are.
If you have fibroids, it is important to know that there are now more treatment options than ever, and it is up to you to be your own best advocate, do your own research, and discover what is best for you.