Martina* started experiencing uncomfortable symptoms in her mid-thirties. She was fatigued and suffered through heavy, extended periods. She even had to leave work a few times to change her clothes after unexpected leaks. Her gynecologist diagnosed her with fibroids and recommended a hysterectomy. But at 36 years old, neither she nor her husband felt that uterus removal was a good idea.
Instead of having fibroid removal surgery, Martina visited a second gynecologist. This doctor took a “wait and see” approach. Martina suffered from painful, debilitating fibroid symptoms for five more years. Gradually, the symptoms got worse and worse. Her periods became even heavier, and she often felt bloated. Her energy continued to drop, making it difficult to exercise. “It felt like I was living half a life!” she says.
Martina ’s Fibroid Symptoms
- Fatigue, low energy
- Heavy periods
- Extended periods
- Unexpected leaks from bleeding
- Feeling pain
- Bloated, swollen abdomen
- Not able to exercise
- Debilitating symptoms interrupting her life
Hysterectomy Is Not the Only Fibroid Treatment
Martina and her husband knew it was time to get another opinion. They wanted to find a solution to her fibroid pain that wasn’t a hysterectomy. Their research brought them to the Fibroid Institute Texas. Martina had an MRI and met with Dr. Suzanne Slonim, an interventional radiologist and pioneer in non-surgical fibroid treatment. The MRI indicated that Martina had 16—yes, 16—fibroids ranging from the mass of a golf ball to a grapefruit. Together all the fibroids in her uterus mimicked the size of a four-month-old fetus.
Dr. Slonim told Martina that she was a candidate for uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). UFE is a minimally invasive fibroid treatment that stops the blood flow to the fibroids. Using image-guided interventional radiology, experienced fibroid doctors at Fibroid Institute insert a tiny catheter through a small nick in the wrist. Small particles are led through the catheter to the fibroid vessels, forming a barrier to the fibroids’ blood supply. As a result, fibroids shrink and die, greatly reducing or eliminating symptoms.
Compared to hysterectomy and other fibroid surgeries, UFE has a much shorter recovery time, and the uterus remains intact.
Benefits of UFE at Fibroid Institute include:
- No hospital stay and recovery is only 7-10 days
- No incisions or vaginal access, just a small nick in the wrist
- Treat multiple fibroids at one time
- Over 90% of women experience major improvements in fibroid symptoms
- Covered by most major insurances
- Patient-centered care, from consultation to pre-authorizations through follow ups
- Doctors are 100% focused on fibroids, not divided between other conditions
Seeking another opinion was the right choice for Martina. Both she and her husband were thrilled to find a fibroid solution that wasn’t hysterectomy. Her procedure only took about two hours. Her husband was able to take her home a short while after. Dr. Slonim checked on her that afternoon, and again the next day.
Within a week, Martina was back to her regular activities. Over time, her fibroid symptoms continued to improve. Her periods became lighter and shorter. She felt more energetic than she had in years. In fact, her fibroids continued to shrink year after year. UFE was the answer to finding relief and becoming #FibroidFree!
The above series of MRI images demonstrates the relatively rapid shrinkage of the fibroids and uterus that occurs in the first three to six months followed by slower shrinkage over the next several years. Martina’s symptoms had resolved by the time of the first follow-up MRI in 2017.
Compare the size of the uterus to the position of the belly button (indicated by a blue star ★) to fully appreciate the shrinkage. Three years passed between the last two MRIs because of delayed medical imaging related to the pandemic.
Why Get a Second Opinion and What to Ask?
Based on her experience, Martina recommends that other women told to have a hysterectomy consider getting a second opinion. She suggests asking your doctor questions like these to learn about all fibroid treatment options:
- Is fibroid treatment or removal necessary right now? What will happen if I wait? Will my fibroid symptoms get worse?
- What are my treatment options, especially if I don’t want to undergo hysterectomy or another fibroid removal surgery?
- Is hysterectomy my only option because of something other than fibroids?
- What are my options if I want to get pregnant in the future?
- Do you have a relationship with an interventional radiologist? Are you familiar with UFE?
Without searching for another opinion, Martina never would have found Fibroid Institute and learned about UFE. She is grateful to be #FibroidFree and living her best life without fibroid symptoms. She is also relieved that she was able to avoid surgical hysterectomy and the removal of her uterus. “You don’t have to be burdened by this. There is a solution out there that’s wonderful,” she says.
Are You Looking for an Alternate to Hysterectomy?
At Fibroid Institute, we are dedicated to educating and empowering women on fibroid treatment options. With multiple locations in Dallas and Houston, our fibroid clinics help thousands of women avoid hysterectomy and find relief from their fibroid symptoms. Our fibroid doctors are board-certified interventional radiologists and experts who are passionate about helping women become #FibroidFree. Dr. John Fischer and Dr. Suzanne Slonim are among the most experienced experts, 100% focused on fibroid treatment in the Dallas and Houston metro areas.
Find out if you are a candidate for UFE. Call for a telehealth consult or an in-office appointment at our Dallas fibroid clinics at 214-838-6440, Houston fibroid clinics at 713-903-3733, or complete the form below.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.
Fibroid Institute Texas serves the Dallas and Houston areas including Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Frisco, Craig Ranch, McKinney, Allen, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, HEB, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Dallas, Sherman, Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Webster, Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Universal City, Spring, Kingwood, Stafford, Conroe, Texas City, Cypress, League City, Bellaire, and more.
*Patient stories are true. Names and/or photos may be changed to protect patient confidentiality.