Women who have fibroids often struggle with disruptive GYN symptoms like heavy bleeding and pelvic pain, and many experience difficulty to conceive and carry a child to term. A myomectomy is a fibroid removal procedure, which preserves fertility. It is not definitive fibroid treatment, but it can be an option that allows long-term relief from symptoms and the ability to conceive. It is important that a myomectomy is performed by a trained specialist, with minimally invasive approach, to allow for a thorough, successful surgery and a fast recovery.
Take a look at some common myths about myomectomies and learn the facts so that you can be prepared when seeking the best possible treatment.
MYTH: LARGE FIBROIDS CAN ONLY BE REMOVED WITH AN OPEN MYOMECTOMY, AND OFTEN A HYSTERECTOMY IS NECESSARY.
FACT: In the past, women with fibroids greater than 250g (about the weight of a large grapefruit), had to have open myomectomy surgeries with large incisions (6-8 inches) and painful recoveries of up to 2 months. Many procedures were converted to hysterectomy to avoid further complications. Such an outcome is devastating for women who still plan to carry a child.
Advancements in minimally invasive GYN surgery now allow for large and small fibroids to be removed laparoscopically, with 2 incisions. The LAAM (Laparoscopic Assisted Abdominal Myomectomy) procedure is a hybrid technique that takes the best elements of the open and laparoscopic approach and it uses 1 small incision in the bikini line about 1.5 inches in length, and a 1 incision at the umbilicus at 1/4 of an inch. LAAM. The largest fibroid removed with LAAM was 6000g (13lbs, about the weight of a medium sized watermelon).
MYTH: RECOVERY IS EASIER AFTER A MYOMECTOMY VS A HYSTERECTOMY.
FACT: A myomectomy procedure is more invasive than a hysterectomy even with minimally invasive surgery. With myomectomy, incisions are made in the uterus to remove fibroids and it needs time to heal. It’s important that the uterus is thoroughly repaired after fibroid removal to ensure it is strong enough to carry a growing fetus.
As fibroids continue to grow after a myomectomy, women who do not wish to preserve fertility should consider hysterectomy as definitive treatment. At CIGC, hysterectomy is performed using two 5 MM incisions with DualPortGYN. Recovery is 10-14 days after LAAM myomectomy and 1 week after DualPortGYN hysterectomy.
The benefits of these procedures is that women are able to return to their lives faster and start building their family sooner after a myomectomy. Other, more invasive procedures like robotic surgery can take between 4-6 weeks to recover, and open procedures can take up to 2 months.
MYTH: I TRUST MY OBGYN TO PERFORM A MYOMECTOMY. I DON’T NEED A SECOND OPINION.
FACT: It’s important for any woman to have a good relationship with their OBGYN and to trust their opinion. When it comes to complicated GYN surgery, especially when preparing for fertility treatments or trying to conceive naturally, it is essential to find a specialist who is trained in advanced surgical techniques and has the expertise to perform safe and thorough removal. The primary focus of an OBGYN is obstetrics, while a GYN specialist focuses on surgery 100%.
Per ACOG, increased surgical volume is important to develop and maintain surgical expertise in any field of surgery. The average OBGYN only performs about 20 major surgeries per year. A specialist does about 10 to 15 surgeries per week. Because of the high number of surgeries performed, a specialist is constantly perfecting their skill and surgical outcome.
When looking for the best fibroid doctor, consider this helpful list of questions to ask about the procedure & surgical approach: Your Fibroid Removal Surgery: Questions To Ask
Learn more about fibroids & fertility from Dr. Paul MacKoul’s conversation with DeShuna Spencer, host of WPFW’s emPower Hour on 89.3 FM: Paul MacKoul MD Talks Fibroids & Fertility On emPower Hour
To discuss laparoscopic myomectomy with a CIGC physician Natalya Danilyants MD or Paul MacKoul MD, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. We have offices in Rockville, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA. Patients who reside outside the Washington DC area can look into CIGC’s travel program.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Natalya Danilyants MD on Facebook | Paul MacKoul MD on Facebook
Natalya Danilyants MD on Twitter | Paul MacKoul MD on Twitter
Natalya Danilyants MD on LinkedIn | Paul MacKoul MD on LinkedIn