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Large Fibroid Large Fibroid

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  #1  
Unread 08-28-2006, 11:40 PM
Large Fibroid

I have a large fibroid which makes my uterus about the size of a 10-12 week pregnancy. (I've had an external and internal ultrasound to determine the size.) My doctor has advised me to have a hysterectomy. I am looking for someone that has been in a similar situation. I'm not sure what to do - - should I get a second opinion, or is that pointless because of the size of my fibroid? I get the feeling from my doctor that hyst. is my best option. I am 43 years old, have never had any surgery of any kind in my life, and am worried about the emotional and sexual side effects possible with hyst. Lots of questions, I know!! Just looking for advice or words of encouragement from someone who can relate to my situation!
  #2  
Unread 08-29-2006, 12:20 AM
getting rid of those fibroids

I´ve got three large fibroids. When I was recommended hysterectomy I simply told the doctor I wish to discuss my alternatives. She came back with an older doctor who also examined me and discussed the matter with me. I wasn´t pressed or persuaded but settled for the op. They didn´t show any hurry and I felt they were friendly. I´m sure you can book a time for discussion. Then you can make your decision based on the facts and your own circumstances. My mom´s way of coping was to go to the supposedly best private clinic in the country. She was very happy with her hysterectomy experience. She warned me about the hospital where I´m doing it but so far I´m happy with my choice as well.
  #3  
Unread 08-29-2006, 05:48 AM
Large Fibroid

First question is how fast is it growing. Watch it for a while before making a decision. My first dr did that. (I moved in the middle of all this so had to get a new dr.) I did not have any symptoms other than the swelling. I was 52 and should have been just about to go thru menopause. With menopause your estrogen levels go down and they shrink. But of course in my family meno is very late. 3 years later still getting Aunt Flo every month it was up to a 20 week pregnancy so I finally decided to just have it done. It has been a roller coaster since with the instant menopause but overall, I think I am happy I had it done.

Bottom line, talk to everyone you can before making the decision. You have to live with it, they don't.
  #4  
Unread 08-29-2006, 11:31 AM
Large Fibroid

Hi Happy Face,

Welcome to you!! I am also new to this site. The questions I have for you are do you have symptoms from the fibroid and how bad are they? And like jb73 suggests, how fast is it growing? I imagine these answers would factor into your decision process and timing.

Well, my situation is very similar to yours. I was dx with a large posterior intramural fibroid (12 weeks 7.5 cm) in March, 2005 and have been in a wait and see mode until now. We tracked the rate of growth and symptoms I was/am experiencing (increased bleeding, longer peroids, horrible cramps, migraines, peeing every 15-30 mins, can't even put in a tampon, etc - the usual stuff) over the past 1.5 years. I also see a urogynecologist and am taking VESIcare, and am on a bladder retraining program.

Now the fibroid is 9.2 cm and in order to have a shot at a laparoscopic myomectomy, it has to be under 10 cm. Now that my lapro window is closing, a decision needs to be made. The myo is no issue for handling the fibroid and uterus repair, it's the type of myo that is driving my timing (lapro vs open).

I was thinking of getting a supracervical hyst, but because of my age and life status (37, single, no kids), I have decided to try the myo first. My doctor also recommended this, as he specializes in minimally invasive surgery. Now, I also have a bladder sling thingie to consider in the same surgery - fun huh? I found that one out today.

Anyway, that said, I am always a fan of a second and third opinion and I am getting those as well. I wish we could upload stuff - I would (and can privately) send you my list of pesky doctor questions.

hang in there,

divetta
  #5  
Unread 08-29-2006, 12:34 PM
Large Fibroid

Hi HappyFace,

I highly suggest getting a 2nd opinion. Even a 3rd opinion if need be.

I got two opinions myself about my fibroids and I am so glad I did!!! My 1st Dr. wanted to do an abdominal surgery. She said I was -not- a candidate for any other type of hyst. My fibroids measured 15 cm total at the time.

I cried for 3 days since I had never had a surgery also. I was so scared!! Then, I decided to get a 2nd opinion. He suggested a laparoscopic hyst, a less invasive surgery, after I did (3) months of lupron shots to shrink my fibroids enough for surgery. My fibroids got down to 9.1 cm total and my Dr. felt I was a good candidate for a LSH.

Today, over 2 yrs. post op, I am still ~very~ pleased with my surgery results.

Here is a Hyster Sisters link that goes over the different types of hysts and questions to ask your Dr:

http://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/view_preop.htm

Best wishes,

Mary
  #6  
Unread 08-29-2006, 01:05 PM
Large Fibroid

You could be me!! I am 42 and found out recently that I have a fibroid about the size of yours. I am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, September 5. I personally can't wait because I have suffered severely over the past year. I have to admit, though, I am also very nervous. I have to have abdominal surgery due to having three
C-sections. I will pray for you that you are able to make the right decision for you, and I will definitely email after surgery to let you know how I am!
  #7  
Unread 08-30-2006, 06:08 PM
Large Fibroid

I strongly agree with the advice to get a second opinion if you are not sure about the recommendation for surgery. There are a lot of factors to consider about your current condition and the long-term effects of whatever you decide to do. And it's very important to make the decision that makes you feel most confident and comfortable.

I self-diagnosed my fibroids in my late 30's and waited until about 18 months ago to see a doctor and get a medical confirmation, at age 52. That's because I knew I would be told to have a hysterectomy and I wasn't ready. In the meantime, I read everything about fibroids that I could get my hands on. Sure enough the first gyn I went to last year said 'you need a hysterectomy.' I was nearly 30-week size at the time. I'm very stubborn so I opted first to have UAE. It was successful in shrinking me down to about 13 week size over a 12 month period, but it became clear to me that a hyst was the only thing that would end the pain and other misery. I happily made the decision this year and now 5 weeks post-op I'm sure I made the right choice, in my own good time. I also ditched the first gyn and found 2 new doctors... my new regular gyn and her colleague who was my surgeon.

I also found some great information in the book "The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy." It walks you through the options for every condition, every surgery, etc. in an easy-to-read style. (There are reviews on this website.)

Good luck with your decision and I hope you find the answer that makes you feel better soon.
  #8  
Unread 08-30-2006, 10:49 PM
Large Fibroid

I had lived with my fibroid for over 4 years. I had a UAE last October. The larger the fibroid is, the less it will shrink. Mine did shrink, but I was still having bowel and bladder problems. I had my surgery in June. I was so happy to get rid of the fibroid. I am feeling better then I have in years. Yes it is a slow recovery, but so worth it.
  #9  
Unread 08-31-2006, 06:46 AM
Large Fibroid

Hi Happy Face
we're the same age!
And I think our situations were quite similar.
I was first diagnosed with fibroids in 2003. At that time they were small and I was offered several options to treat my heavy periods. I tried different tablets and then the Mirena which worked well.
In April this year the heavy bleeding suddenly returned. The fibroid had grown to melon size and was visibly sticking out.
I work in a school and could not cope with the flooding at all.
I was given the option of a hyst, just removing the fibroid or doing nothing (continuing to prevent the bleeding medically).
The op to just remove the fibroid is nearly as big as a hyst and I knew I didn't want to go back to taking the drugs so opted for the hyst.
I have had a good result from my surgery. No more periods, and got rid of the fibroid. I also realised afterwards that it was causing my incontinence and bowel probs (which are gone) and I feel less tired and anxious. My ovaries are working fine (I knew there was a risk they would fail).
Personally I was not unhappy to have an abdominal procedure as my dh does not feel comfortable with me being touched 'down below'. So I didn't ask about other procedures.

I would certainly encourage you to explore other possibilities if you do not want the hyst, especially if your fibroid is not causing you too many problems. My dr said that the Mirena normally shrinks fibroids and it certainly stopped the heavy bleeding.

Sex is better - no discomfort or fear of bleeding and apart from a couple of weepy days mourning my girl parts, I've felt fine emotionally and I can wear pretty undies everyday and white trousers!

Good luck with your decision and explore your options!
Liz
  #10  
Unread 08-31-2006, 10:49 AM
Large Fibroid

Go ahead and get other opinions. Unless you are in constant pain and need relief, take your time. I had fibroids too, an enlarged uterus and anemia at 44, monitored thru ultrasounds for a year, and then decided on the hyst.(But I wasn't in pain). Everything seemed to go smoothly until 3 1/2 weeks post-op, when I developed complications directly as a result of surgery. I am hoping with conservative treatment, that the additional healing will take place and further surgery won't be necessary. But...it's a possiblity. I tell you this only to let you know that you need to be very sure about your decision. Things might go great(99%), but they can go wrong. (Someone's got to be that 1%) Everyone's body and experience are different. Do your research, talk to people, and BE SURE.
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