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Trying to make the right decision Trying to make the right decision

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Unread 07-02-2004, 11:32 AM
Trying to make the right decision

Hi! For the last few years, I've had heavy bleeding and pain during my periods. My gyn told me that it was due to uterine fibroids, but I wasn't ready to do anything about them--I just took Aleve when necessary. Things began to get worse about a year ago. In January my dr sent me for an ultrasound because I had been having pain on my left side for a few months and she said she thought it might be a problem with the ovary. It turns out that I had a cyst on each ovary. My dr put me on birth control pills to try to dissolve the cysts, but a follow-up ultrasound showed that the cysts were still there. I also saw a radiologist for a consult about uterine embolization. On 6/29 I had laparoscopic surgery so that my gyn could do a D&C (in prep for the embolization) and drain the ovarian cysts. After the surgery, my dr told me that she had been able to drain the cyst on the right ovary and that the ovary looked normal. However, she could not completely drain the left ovarian cyst because the fluid was very thick. She also said that the left ovary was very enlarged, that I have endometriosis, and that my uterus is enlarged as well. She presented me with two options: (1) she can put me on medication to shrink the left ovary so that she can then remove it; after that, I can go ahead with the uterine fibroid embolization in about six months, or (2) she can go ahead and remove the ovary and the uterus (she didn't say anything about the normal ovary). I am supposed to discuss the options with my gyn next week. Right now I'm trying to find out what other women have experienced, so that I know what questions to ask and can make an informed decision. Thanks for your help!

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Unread 07-02-2004, 11:48 AM
Trying to make the right decision

Hi Ginger,

First of all, I'm sorry to hear that you're going to need additional treatment. And these treatment decisions are tough. There is no right or wrong choice here - so much depends on your personal sitation.

Hysterectomy is generally viewed as a last resort, after other treatment options have been tried and failed. Especially if you are younger and still want to conceive. Even if you are past your child-bearing years, a hyst is major surgery and there are risks and the possibility of complications - so you need to weigh your options very carefully.

Did you gyn tell you what stage your endometriosis is? Endo is staged much like cancer is ... stage 4 being the most severe. You could get good relief with the hormones used to shrink the ovary and perhaps additional laparoscopic surgery could remove remaining endo. Then the UAE procedure could alleviate your fibroid problems as well. If these treatment options fail, a hyst is something you might eventually have to face. But at least you would have tried less-invasive treatments first.

In the end, only you can make this decision. I highly recommend that you get at least one other opinion from another gyn before you make your final decision about treatment.

Whatever you decide, we'll do our best to provide support. Keep us posted on how you are doing and what treatment you choose. I know this is not easy. Sending hugs your way.


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