This past week in the LA Times there was an article in the Health Section regarding the increased reliance upon alternative therapies ie accupuncture, herbs, supplements, massage therapies etc. These therapies can be excellent for treating many ancillary symptoms but often do not get to the core problem behind the diagnosis. Always keep in mind, treating the root of the problem is the best way to go. Many women call our office with symptoms of heavy bleeding, painful periods, back pain who have been offered medications and/or therapies that do not address the reason for the symptoms….(ie fibroids, adenomyosis or endometriosis. ) Remember, seek out the solution that has the best outcome for your diagnosis, not just the symptoms….and dont delay treatment.
We have many women come to office asking if there is an association between what they eat and the symptoms related to their fibroids. The answer is absolutely!! Sadly, many of our foods are processed with the use of hormones to enhance growth. These hormones are directly absorbed into the body and become an additive to the already cycling hormones in your system. Any female disorder, Fibroids, Adenomyosis, Endometriosis and Ovarian cysts will respond to added estrogen. In order to reduce the side effects, limit your diet to all organically grown foods, and avoid caffeine, chocolate and soy products.
Uterine artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure often used to treat fibroid tumors. Small polyvinyl particles are injected into the uterine artery while the patient is under xray examination. The goal is to block the blood supply to the tumors so they eventually die off. The technique has been successful for small, single tumors and may be an option for some women. Unlike our Female Alternative Surgery, UAE is not recommended for patients hoping to maintain fertility. Many physicians are attempting to embolize larger and multiple tumors, creating the potential for damage to surrounding uterine muscle and eventual uterine abcess. This can necessitate hysterectomy. We do not recommend UAE for women with multiple or larger fibroids or those hoping to maintain fertility.
As previously posted, Adenomyosis is endometriosis in the uterine muscle or wall. This is a benign or non-cancerous disease that spreads monthly with hormones. As adeno spreads is damages the uterus effecting the contractility of the cells…..as a result, many women experience miscarriage during the late first into second trimester. This damage to the organ is permanent…infertility is very common with adenomyosis, especially in advanced stages. Although treatment can retard the spread of the disease, fertility cannot be returned.
I recently had a patient in the office with very large fibroids…she had had two previous myomectomies with her gynecologist and she was wondering why her tumors had returned. Sadly, the recurrence rates for fibroid tumors following surgery can be as high as 60%…the well known fact is that most of these tumors have not grown back since surgery, but were never removed during the inital procedures. Fibroids that are deep in the uterine muscle are difficult to access without significant blood loss…as a result, many gyns will not remove the deeper tumors. This sets women up for multiple fibroid tumor surgeries. Our recurrence rates are approximately 2%, as we are able to remove all fibroids, regardless of size or location (submucosal, subserosal) employing vascular techniques that prevent bleeding. If you are considering a myomectomy ask your doctor about their success rates, in reference to minimizing the need for future surgery.