Women are used to seeing a gynecologist regularly for annual exams, pap smears, pregnancy-related care, and even for questions and care related to uterine fibroid tumors. But when fibroid symptoms become severe and surgery is not the selected treatment, it is common for gynecologists to refer patients to the Fibroid Institute.
Dr. Suzanne Slonim is the leading North Texas fibroids specialist known for her expertise and experience. What some patients may not realize right away is their gynecologist is not referring them to another gynecologist. Dr. Slonim is an interventional radiologist, not a gynecologist. Each doctor has specialized experience and working together as a team leads to high-quality care and improved patient satisfaction.
What Do Gynecologists Treat?
A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women’s health. Most women are encouraged to schedule an appointment once a year starting in their teens for regular exams. Obviously, women’s health covers a broad range of issues and treatments. However, for the most part, think in terms of a woman’s reproductive organs and general health. Visits to your gynecologist may be more frequent if you are experiencing problems or are pregnant. Just a few areas patients may see their gynecologists for include:
- Birth control or contraception
- Bladder issues such as incontinence
- Cancer screening (breast cancer, ovarian cancer)
- Hormone disorders
- Menopause symptoms
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Uterine fibroids
How Does a Gynecologist Detect Fibroids?
Many times fibroids cause the uterus to become larger. This means your gynecologist may spot abnormal changes in the shape of your uterus during a routine pelvic exam. During these exams, your doctor will gently press on your pelvis with their hands and explore the region. Beyond a physical exam, your gynecologist can do a pelvic ultrasound to take a picture of your uterus. This gives an indication on the size of each fibroid. However, a pelvic MRI is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis of the number and size of all fibroids in the uterus.
Your gynecologist will help you understand your surgical and non-surgical fibroid treatment options. Suppose your fibroid symptoms include abnormal menstrual bleeding, periods that last longer than a week, bloating, constipation, and even chronic back and leg pain. In addition, suppose either you are not a good candidate for fibroid surgery such as hysterectomy or myomectomy, you can’t have surgery for a variety of reasons, or you simply don’t want surgery. In that case, your physician will likely refer you to fibroid specialist Dr. Suzanne Slonim, an interventional radiologist.
Why Are You Being Referred to an Interventional Radiologist?
An interventional radiologist is a board-certified physician trained in non-vascular and vascular imaging guided procedures. These physicians provide minimally invasive therapies that treat various conditions throughout the body. Interventional radiology uses advanced imaging—such as ultrasound, x-rays, MRI, and CT scans—to treat complex situations less invasively and with little to no downtime for the patient. Procedures these physicians perform include angioplasty, biopsies, endovascular grafts, radiofrequency ablation, stenting, thrombolysis (deep vein thrombosis), and uterine fibroid embolization. Here are examples of conditions interventional radiologists treat:
- Fibroid Tumors
- Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Peripheral Artery Disease/Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
- Leg Pain caused by Venous Insufficiency
Interventional radiologists must master a range of highly technical skills using tiny needles, cannulas, and catheters to perform procedures through blood vessels, arteries, and organs under x-ray guidance while leaving little to no trace that anything was done. Many of these treatments require considerable experience and expertise. Interventional radiologists are exceptionally qualified to perform minimally invasive techniques to help patients reach their medical goals with successful results.
While you may be surprised to have your gynecologist refer you to an interventional radiologist, this is actually a very good thing in terms of patient-centered care. This allows you access to all options available so that you can make a more informed decision about what treatment is best for you.
How Does Dr. Slonim Work with Your Gynecologist as a Fibroid Specialist?
While interventional radiologists are certified to treat all the conditions above, Dr. Suzanne Slonim has chosen to become highly specialized in fibroids and the non-surgical treatment option Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Focusing on women with uterine fibroids allows her to truly understand what patients have endured with their fibroid symptoms. With over 30,000 procedures completed in 25+ years of practice, Dr. Slonim developed a concierge practice with a specific algorithm in how she treats patients, so they experience little discomfort. Examples of this revolutionary care include:
- Offering phone screenings with a fibroid nurse practitioner to prequalify patients
- Providing detailed pre-procedure and post-procedure written instructions
- Furnishing her direct mobile phone number to patients
- Scheduling follow up visits with patients 1 week, 1 month, and 4 months after the procedure
- Coordination of care and detailed reports to the referring doctor
As a result, Dr. Slonim has become the preferred referral partner for many physicians including gynecologists, wellness doctors, chiropractors, and general practitioners.
An Exam with Your Gynecologist Is Different from a Consult with Dr. Slonim
Dr. Slonim does not provide routine gynecological care. There are no wellness exams, no pelvic exams, no pap smears, and no stirrups. For that you will see your gynecologist. What Dr. Slonim does provide is a specialized, very personal, high-level concierge service for fibroid treatment, assisting both patients and their referring providers.
During an office consultation, Dr. Slonim will:
- Listen to your concerns, symptoms, challenges with menstrual cycle, pain, etc.
- Review your medical history
- Perform an exam where she will feel how large the uterus is, but not through a traditional pelvic exam
- Order imaging if needed
- Discuss your goals and options for what treatment best fits your lifestyle and medical needs
- Explain in detail about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE): how it works, what happens before, during, and after the procedure
Like any medical condition, fibroids can get worse if left untreated. In addition, the earlier you look into your options and receive treatment, the sooner you will find relief from symptoms that keep you from living your best daily life. Fibroid Institute Dallas and Dr. Suzanne Slonim, working in conjunction with your gynecologist, are here to support you through that journey.
Fibroid Institute Dallas Is Accepting New Patients
Do you have questions about your fibroid symptoms or treatment options and haven’t been referred? Simply request a telehealth consult or office consultation appointment with Dr. Suzanne Slonim, the highest rated North Texas fibroids specialist based on reviews.
Dr. Slonim founded the Fibroid Institute Dallas and the Fibroid Free movement to relieve women of painful fibroid symptoms and educate them on treatment options other than a hysterectomy. She is voted Best Doctor in D Magazine, honored with the Dallas Business Journal’s 2020 Women in Business Award, and listed in 2020 Super Doctors by Texas Monthly.
To learn more or to schedule, call 214-838-6440 or complete the form below.
Fibroid Institute Dallas serves the DFW area including Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Dallas, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Grand Prairie, Arlington, HEB, Fort Worth, Hutchins, Irving, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Addison, Carrollton, and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.