Cat’s Myomectomy Story
I had believed my only options for my fibroids (one 9 cm, and a few smaller ones) was open abdominal myomectomy, or even a hysterectomy. Thanks to the advice I found online, I persevered through three different doctors to find someone who could perform a less invasive procedure.
I had been experiencing heavy, painful periods and constant abdominal pain/bloating. I finally sought medical help, when the fibroid became large enough for me to feel. I went to my primary care physician, who told me I had fibroids and would have to get a hysterectomy. Since I am 31 and still hoping for a family, I went home and cried so hard that my whole body hurt the next day. When I had finally regained my senses, I decided to consult with Dr. Google, and through the information at HysterSisters, I discovered I had several options to try. I set about finding a gynecologist who could help. I had been seeing my primary care doc for my gynecological needs before this, although in retrospect, I think that was a bad choice!
The first gynecologist I saw told me that there was no option except an open abdominal myomectomy. He also warned me that he thought the inside of my uterus might have significant scarring from the procedure, and that about 5% of women who go in for myomectomies end up with hysterectomies due to irreparable uterine defects or uncontrollable bleeding. This information did not match what I had read/heard from others, so I decided to keep looking. The second doctor I saw was a little more encouraging and said she could start the procedure with the Da Vinci robot, but said there was about a 50% chance she would have to make an abdominal incision to finish the procedure. She told me that the problem was not so much the size of the tumor as its placement — right under my belly button, where it would fill up the whole camera screen, which would potentially make the surgery unsafe. Her reasoning made a lot of sense, but she said a couple things that bothered me. She said that no one could tell from an ultrasound how deeply the tumors were embedded in the wall of the uterus, and that a couple of my smaller fibroids could just be left alone. Although she was not nearly as alarmist as the first doctor, she did give me a big talk about how no doctor could guarantee that a myomectomy will not turn into a hysterectomy, which also made me uncomfortable.
Emboldened by other women’s stories of robotic myomectomies for tumors larger than mine, I decided to seek one more opinion, and I hit the jackpot. The doctor I saw assured me that it would be no problem to place the camera port a little higher in my abdomen, where my larger tumor would not block the view. She was also the first doctor to give me diagrams and explanatory literature, and she immediately told me about other surgeries she had done on cases similar to mine. Without my asking, she also provided a detailed explanation of how she would repair my uterus in layers to make sure that the scar was strong. I knew instantly that this was the quality of care that I had been wanting, and I was so excited to get back to my life.
Get a second, third or even fourth opinion to make sure you are getting the level of care you need and deserve!