We require medical records be faxed to our Los Angeles office prior to setting up a consultations for fibroids, adenomyosis, endometriosis and ovarian pathology. Patients often report difficulty getting copies of their medical file from their doctors office. This should NOT be the case. Your file is yours!! You are entitled to your own health information. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times Health Section ( Monday July 27, 2009, entitled “Those medical tests are yours”)….discusses the federal law, HIPPA ( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) which gives consumers the right to access records regarding their medical care and treatment. IF you are having difficulty retrieving your file from a medical office or facility, contact a supervisor……it is against the law to withhold your information.
What is a D&C? It stands for Dilatation and Curettage. This is a minor surgical procedure that is often recommended by healthcare practitioners to treat heavy bleeding. The cervix is dialated and a small curette is used to scrape the lining of the uterus away. This can significantly reduce bleeding until the lining is regenerated. Unfortunately, a D&C is used all too often as a treatment for fibroid tumors and adenomyosis. This procedure can temporarily reduce the bleeding symptoms but does nothing to actually treat the primary diseases. Women often get a false sense of security once the bleeding is reduced…..take care, the fibroid tumors and adenomyosis are still growing.
We have many many women hoping to preserve their fertility when they arrive for fibroid tumor surgery. Pedunculated tumors are fibroids on a stalk extending from the uterus into the abdomen. They are often assymptomatic pertaining to monthly bleeding, as the endometrial lining is not effected. These are the best tumors to have when considering fertility options, as they do not damage the uterus. The larger pedunculated fibroids become they can press on surrounding tissues and organs and produce abdominal discomfort, bloating and pain, but as mentioned, they do not effect monthly periods. Depending on size, the tumors may be able to be removed via laparoscopy.
Routinely in my consultations, I get asked to explain some of the minimally invasive treatments for fibroids. Today I want to discuss Endometrial Ablation. This is a very common procedure often recommended by the gynecologist for patients with heavy bleeding. This technique basically destroys the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrial lining. It can be destroyed using various different techniques with either heat or cold. All ultimately do the same thing…..this procedure significantly reduces bleeding but if the ablation is incomplete…lining can regenerate over time and bleeding return. This is a treatment for heavy monthly periods, but not a direct treatment for fibroid tumors or adenomyosis.
We have rececently received many calls and emails about this disease. First let me say,we do NOT recommend hysterectomy for endometriosis. This is a disease that requires aggressive treatment, but removing the uterus is not one of them. Most patients get labelled with this diagnosis based solely on signs and symptoms ie: painful periods, cramping, bloating. Endometriosis is a microscopic condition…it does not show up on diagnostic testing like ultrasound, MRI or CTScan. Your doctor must be able to see the implants to confirm the presents of the disease. In order to confirm a diagnosis the patient will need surgery. If you think you might have this disease, contact your doctor for a consultation. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical with Endometriosis.