Age: 32 years old
In April of 1996, I went to my Gynecologist for my annual exam. She found I had several fibroid tumors whose size she described upon final diagnosis as being “within normal limits.” At that time she suggested instead of removing the fibroids that we just monitor their progress.
In June of 1997, I had relocated to Huntington Beach. I made an appointment with another gynecologist. On my first visit with the new gynecologist it wasn’t more than a minute into the pelvic exam when the doctor exclaimed “you have three very large fibroid tumors and they need to be removed immediately!” I was absolutely devastated. Not more than a year prior to this I had been given practically a clean bill of health and suddenly now I was looking at immediate surgery?
For the last three years I had suffered with severe menstrual cramps, heavy periods, headaches, and extreme fatigue. Despite the several missed days of work, I still went to work in pain. The only relief my gynecologist ever offered me for my symptoms were birth control pills. I never knew there was a better alternative to alleviate my suffering. An alternative that should have been suggested to me long before.
I couldn’t believe the great discrepancy in the two doctor’s opinions. So I went back to my first gynecologist for another appointment. She examined me and still maintained her original diagnosis from my last visit. “She wasn’t excited” by what she saw in the Ultrasound results. Meaning basically the tumors had grown since the last time she examined me, but the growth was negligible. She did however say since the tumors were making me “cuckoo” she recommended that I allow her to do a myomectomy. She was quick to point out that not all the tumors could be removed due to the severe amount of blood loss and she would only remove the ones that were causing a problem. At this point I really didn’t want to consider this option.
Needless to say I was both confused and afraid. I would have been in a real quandary about what to do if not for a friend who had been through a similar ordeal. She recommended that I see Dr. del Junco Jr. After my first visit with Dr. del Junco Jr., I was absolutely certain that his procedure was the best course of action for my problem. He explained all the details and dangers of the procedure in a caring and concise manner. Dr. del Junco Jr. advocated the removal of all the fibroid tumors pointing out that anything left behind would just be a future problem in the waiting. He also reassured me that the blood loss was miniscule compared to other myomectomies.
Deciding to have the procedure required a great deal of deliberation on my part and Dr. del Junco Jr. was kind enough to spend several hours not only in his office but on the telephone as well. I’ve never known such an outpouring of concern and accessibility from a physician.
On August the 11th, 1997, I has the FAS procedure. Dr. del Junco Jr.’s office staff and the hospital staff were wonderful. I was extremely nervous and they went out of their way to make my recovery as comfortable and as expedient as possible. I had around the clock attention.
It has been approximately 20 weeks since I had the surgery. I made a speedy recovery. I had 65 fibroid tumors! All of which were benign. So far I hold the record. I was given a positive prognosis and my prospects of having children look very good. Painful menstrual periods are just a distant memory. I feel more energetic and healthier than I’ve felt in years. I feel like I have a new body.
I didn’t just have an operation. I had an educational experience. Not only did I learn a great deal from my own research but from the videotaped surgeries of Dr. del Junco Jr.’s other patients as well as my own. I was given reading materials on the FAS procedure as well as a list of names of former patients to contact and discuss their experience with the procedure. I felt as if I had been given a rare opportunity to empower myself in making an informed decision about my health. This experience has changed my life and how I will handle future medical problems.
I’m so proud to be among those enlightened women who are paving the way for other women by taking a chance on this pioneering approach to women’s health care. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make in my life but it was worth every agonizing moment.
Thank you Dr. del Junco Jr. For giving me my life back.