Presenting Symptoms: Hemorrhaging blood loss, anemia, swollen stomach
“It’s been over a year since my embolization and I’m thrilled! I consider the procedure a 100% success, and would recommend Dr. Smith to anybody.”
In her early forties, Linda was told that she had fibroids. “My OB/GYN said to me, ‘do you know you have fibroids?’ but didn’t tell me what they were, what they do, or what I should look out for,” she says. As the fibroids grew, Linda realized she had to do something. “I was going through a maxi pad and a super plus tampon in thirty minutes,” she says. “I became so anemic I could barely walk two blocks. At one point, I was almost hospitalized for a blood transfusion.”
At that point, Linda began searching for information on the Internet. “The Internet led me to someone I now call a goddess: Carla Dionne. Her fibroid site (www.uterinefibroids.com) was filled with experiences other women have had, as well as Carla’s diary of her own experience with fibroids.” Also at the site, Linda learned about the National Uterine Fibroids Association (NUFF). “I looked at the NUFF Web site (www.nuff.org) to find a physician near me, and that’s how I was connected to Dr. Smith.”
Linda continued to participate in the uterine fibroid forum at Carla Dionne’s site regularly, and learned so much about the embolization procedure that when she finally had a consultation with Dr. Smith, she felt very informed and comfortable asking questions. Her experience at the practice was first rate. “Dr. Smith’s nurse Carol was simply fabulous,” says Linda. “I can’t say enough nice things about her or Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith made me feel comfortable, and asked me how I would define the success of the procedure. That was important to me.”
Before her embolization, Linda was given an epidural. “That was more painful than anything else,” she recalls. And she was disappointed that she couldn’t view the entire procedure. “I wanted to watch the monitor, but because of my position on the table, I couldn’t see very well. What I did see was fascinating. I didn’t feel the catheter go in at all.” Because she had so many fibroids, Dr. Smith had to go in to both fibroids to embolize them all.
Linda went back to work one week after her procedure, although she moved slowly and took it easy. “I tried to baby myself for the next two to three months, just to be sure everything was okay,” she adds.
Although she hasn’t had a comparative MRI done yet, Linda says her fibroids have shrunk about 50%. “The menstrual period after the embolization was normal, I have not had an abnormal once since, and I’m no longer anemic.”
Linda advises women with fibroids to carefully monitor their growth. “If you catch them when they are small there are more treatment options,” she says. But for those who must do something about their fibroids right away Linda advises, “think long and hard about whether you want to get rid of a vital body part. You can always have a hysterectomy as a last resort, but consider saving your uterus if you can. All of our body parts serve some function, and interact in some way. Keeping them intact should be a priority.”
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