Regina R. from Los Angeles, CA was diagnosed with fibroids years ago and was told she needs to have a hysterectomy. At the time, she was not ready to consider this procedure and decided to wait. She actually found a doctor in Beverly Hills, CA who said he could shrink fibroids with a tool that he had invented. When Regina went to see this doctor, he raised several red flags for her.

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“He said ‘I can’t do the procedure on you, because there is literally no room in your abdomen to even put the tool in there. Your uterus is the size of 30 week pregnancy. You should have back pain, acid reflux.’ and he was looking at me in disbelief. That freaked me out. He said ‘You really need to take care of this. You can damage your kidneys. Your organs don’t have any room. The fibroids have filled in whatever space was left.’” Regina recounted.

 “I drove home so upset. All of a sudden I was feeling the fibroid, whereas before this I hadn’t even noticed it. I do yoga 4-5 times per week. I was doing backbends and running around. I do power yoga for an hour and a half every day. I was doing 50 sit-ups at one point, and doing arm balances and headstands. I’ve been doing it for 6 years and I’m pretty advanced.”

“Once I got home I knew I had to take care of this. The trauma of open surgery wasn’t something I wasn’t willing to go through, especially still not having any noticeable symptoms, except that I didn’t have a flat stomach. It was pure vanity that started the whole thing. I still kept feeling like I didn’t need to do this, but at the same time I knew I did.”

CHOOSING TO TRAVEL FOR MINIMALLY INVASIVE HYSTERECTOMY

Regina’s doctor was only able to perform an open surgery, with 4-5 days in the hospital and 8 weeks recovery time. She researched her options online hoping to find a better approach and discovered CIGC.

“Reading all of the blogs and hearing these women’s testimonials, I realized I could do that. There is the expense of flying and hotel, but in the end it’s my body. My only options were open surgery here or flying to Washington, D.C. It was a no-brainer. After reading every person’s comments and blogs, and procedures, and looking up reviews on both doctors, I felt comfortable enough to say ‘I’m doing it.’ Mentally, I was now feeling the fibroid. I was ready to get it out of me and move on.” Regina said.

“I have a friend who is a gynecologist, who just told me to have the open surgery in LA. She said there was no way they could remove a uterus that big laparoscopically. My husband is good friends with her husband, and he was at their house prior to it. She kept saying ‘There’s absolutely no way they can do that. Don’t let her go!’ My husband stood firm saying ‘She’s done her research, I trust her and back her up.’”

LAPAROSCOPIC HYSTERECTOMY WITH DUALPORTGYN AT CIGC

With the DualPortGYN technique, minimally invasive hysterectomy can be performed for a uterus up to 20 pounds. Because of the minimally invasive approach, only two 5 MM incisions, recovery is minimal – 7 days. DualPortGYN hysterectomies use a specialized technique called retroperitoneal dissection that helps control blood loss and maps the pelvic cavity so the surgeon is able to fully visualize the pelvis.

“Open surgery was never even discussed. He does this surgery all the time, and it was business as usual. The phone consultation was very direct. I wanted someone straightforward for whom this kind of surgery is no big deal. I want to be one of a thousand, not one of a few.”

“The surgery was complex. When Dr. MacKoul came back in to talk to me he said that the ureter was wrapped around the uterus on both sides and some of the other organs were on top of it. I definitely needed to take care of it. It was remarkable. I obviously had a stomach, but I didn’t realize that the fibroid was going past my hipbone or my rib cage. It was the shape of a giant jellybean. After the surgery, my stomach is totally flat now.”

HAPPY WITH HER DECISION TO TRAVEL FOR SURGERY

The decision to travel for surgery is not an easy one to make, especially when family and friends have their doubts and try to change your mind. Regina however felt confident in her choice and went all the way. She recovered quickly after her laparoscopic hysterectomy, with very limited pain.

“I’ve been taking it easy, I’m basically back to normal, I didn’t really take any pain medication except to go to sleep the first couple of nights home. I’m totally feeling fine! People come to see me and it’s so weird because you don’t look like you’ve had surgery! I keep forgetting that I’ve had major surgery, you feel the incision a little bit, but it’s not anything that keeps me from doing anything.”

“Coming from a large city in LA where you can find an expert on everything, and having family and friends not understanding why I was going literally across the country for this procedure, my family especially was very uneasy. We are used to having everything within driving distance and even when I explained it to them, they couldn’t understand.”

“As the time got closer, it was a mental thing, I hadn’t met the doctor in person, I haven’t been to this hospital before, of course you get nervous. However, from the time that I called, to get information, to get my insurance approved, to speaking to the doctor, to having Emily call me and schedule the surgery, to the follow-ups for the lab work I needed, to the email communication, everything was so professional and so perfect. I didn’t have to worry about thinking about anything. The only thing I had to worry about was getting a flight and getting a hotel room.”

BOOK A CONSULT

If you would like to discuss your DualPortGYN hysterectomy with a CIGC specialist Dr. Paul J. MacKoul or Dr. Natalya Danilyants MD, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. The Center for Innovative GYN Care has offices in Bethesda, MD, Annapolis, MD and Reston, VA. Patients who reside outside the Washington DC area travel to CIGC through our travel program.

GET TO KNOW US

CIGC: Who We Are
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Dr. Paul MacKoul Reviews | Dr. Natalya Danilyants Reviews
Paul MacKoul MD on LinkedIn | Natalya Danilyants MD on LinkedIn

Azundai, LAAM patient at CIGC, had been diagnosed with fibroids back in 2012, but was advised to watch and wait. It’s important to note this is an outdated approach and it is not effective as fibroids can grow and cause problems if left untreated. Azundai waited for three and a half years and then in 2015, decided to begin her search for the best fibroid surgery.
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Having confidence in the GYN specialist who will perform your fibroid removal procedure is a very important part of your care. You need to be able to trust that your doctor will address your concerns and that the outcome of the surgery will be the best possible one. While many doctors specialize in OB/GYN care, they are not fully trained on minimally invasive GYN surgery for complex conditions. Getting a second opinion can be essential.

RESEARCHING YOUR OPTIONS FOR FIBROID TREATMENT

Azundai researched her options online, trying to find the right approach for her. There are new techniques to treat fibroids that are non-invasive, but they can affect fertility, and fibroids can continue to grow if they are not removed.

“The more I read online, the more scared I got. I read that fibroids could be treated with ultrasound, but that doesn’t cure them. I was shot down by one doctor because I had more than 4 fibroids. I thought about hormone therapy. Confused and frustrated, I cried out and prayed earnestly to God for the right answer to my healing. Putting my fear aside, I decided to keep faith and hope for a successful surgical approach and outcome. I finally started looking at surgeons and found one doctor that specialized in myomectomies, but they were open procedures. I thought about going to Chicago to get radiofrequency ablation, but above all of my requirements I wanted to maintain my fertility. I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy. I wanted to be able to have a chance to be the mom I know I can be.” Azundai said.

LAAM MYOMECTOMY WITH PAUL MACKOUL MD AT CIGC

“I was already scheduled for the open myomectomy. My new boss introduced me to another of my colleagues who had just had a myomectomy.  Once I talked to this colleague, she told me about The Center for Innovative GYN Care, and Dr. Paul J. MacKoul and Dr. Natalya E. Danilyants, and she gave me the website. I found that the CIGC website’s information answered my questions and eased my fear of having surgery, which was something I never had to have in my 32 years of life.”

Azundai came to us and was scheduled to have a minimally invasive LAAM myomectomy. LAAM takes the best elements of both laparoscopic and open approaches for myomectomy, using only two small incisions. Fibroids of any size, number, or location can be removed with this approach and the recovery time is less than 2 weeks.

“No large incision! I have to look for it. I was back to work in 2 weeks. I had 17 fibroids removed. Three of them were really big. I felt excavated, all of the junk removed. It feels so liberating to have them all out.” said Azundai after her surgery.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH FIBROID SPECIALISTS OF CIGC

If you would like to schedule an appointment and go over your options for minimally invasive fibroid removal, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online. Women travel from all across the country for innovative GYN procedures like LAAM and DualPortGYN through CIGC’s travel program.

To learn more about us, visit InnovativeGYN.com and read online patient reviews: Dr. Paul MacKoul ReviewsDr. Natalya Danilyants Reviews.

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woman-recovering-at-home(cut)Advancements in minimally invasive GYN surgery have led to a significant increase in outpatient procedures. A lot of these procedures are performed in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), providing high quality outpatient surgical and preventive care at a much lower cost. A growing trend over the last decade has been the decline in inpatient hospital stays, which carry more risks & costs and offer no benefit to the patient over outpatient procedures.

At The Center for Innovative GYN Care all gynecologic procedures are performed in outpatient settings, either at a state-of-the-art ASC or at a hospital depending on each patient’s needs. CIGC fellowship trained minimally invasive GYN surgeons, Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD provide highly personalized attention and care.

Recovering from minimally invasive GYN surgery in the comfort of your home means reducing the risks of infection as well as the overall cost of surgery. Learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive GYN surgery in outpatient settings in this recent Tumblr blog: Paul MacKoul MD Explains the Benefits of Outpatient GYN Surgery

When you are ready to go over your options, call 888-SURGERY or contact us online to book a consult. If you are an out-of-town patient, visit our travel program page.

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Gwen T, fibroids patient at The Center for Innovative GYN Care, had minimally invasive fibroid surgery 4 years ago and feels great speaking about it now. She says she can’t even see where her incisions were and you would never know she had fibroid surgery. Gwen was happy to share her experience with us and talk about how she’s been feeling since.

Back in 2011, Gwen had a fibroid the size of an orange, causing her pelvic pain that she had struggled with for years.

“Every month I would suffer with pain around my menstrual cycle, but it wasn’t in my pelvis. I was getting pain in my hip and my back. There were times I couldn’t get out of bed. At the time I didn’t know what it was, but it was affecting my lifestyle, crippling me.”

Dr. Paul MacKoul performed laparoscopic hysterectomy using DualPortGYN, an innovative surgical technique that uses only two 5mm cosmetically placed incisions. The scars are practically invisible after healing.

“I have no scars. Some women are scared about big scars, but patients considering surgery need to know that I had no drainage, and went home with 2 small bandages. I was back to work in four days. I work as an office manager in a doctor’s office, and it’s light duty, and low stress, so I had no problem returning to work earlier than planned. I’m looking forward to wearing a bikini some day!”

Many women find they have the drive to pursue new activities after recovering from GYN surgery. Following her DualPortGYN hysterectomy, Gwen found the energy to further her education.

“Since my surgery, I was able to get my Masters of Arts Degree and am a licensed Clinical Christian Counselor, with 4 board certifications. I’m pursuing a Ph.D in 2016.”

After minimally invasive GYN surgery at CIGC, many of our patients engage in new activities, travel to places they have always wanted to visit and take more time to spend with their families and loved ones.

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If you are dealing with abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, contact us to schedule an appointment and go over your options. CIGC minimally invasive GYN surgeons Paul MacKoul MD and Natalya Danilyants MD have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients. To see feedback from other CIGC patients, read online patient reviews: Dr. Paul MacKoul Reviews | Dr. Natalya Danilyants Reviews.

Women dealing with fibroids often choose to delay surgery due to fear of open procedures or risks associated with robotic surgery and power morcellators. It is essential that patients do their own research to identify all possible options for gynecologic care. Learning the facts about fibroid surgery and available procedures can help avoid unnecessary pain and get you back on your feet sooner.

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3 ESSENTIAL FACTORS IN FIBROID SURGERY:

  • The fibroids themselves:The size, number and location of fibroids determine the type of surgery. Fibroids can occur anywhere in the uterus, most develop from the muscle or myometrium, while cervical fibroids are quite rare.
  • The patient’s future plans: The most definitive fibroid removal surgery is hysterectomyas fibroids often return after surgery. If childbearing is still desired and retaining the uterus is important to the patient, a myomectomy is recommended. It is essential for women who are intending to retain their uterus to have the most minimally invasive myomectomy possible, as the probability of these women requiring subsequent fibroid removal surgery is very high.
  • The surgeon’s skill:Minimally invasive fibroid removal is possible even for women dealing with large fibroids or many fibroids. Fibroid surgery does not have to be limited to open or robotic procedures.

Fellowship trained surgeons of CIGC Natalya Danilyants MD and Paul MacKoul MD have developed an innovative fibroid removal procedure, taking the best of open and laparoscopic procedures, without the use of a robot or power morcellator. LAAM myomectomy  uses 1 tiny incision at the belly button for a laparoscope, and a slightly larger incision, about an inch and a half at the bikini line. The surgeons are able to feel and remove all of the fibroids and patients generally recover in 10 days to 2 weeks.

Find out more about LAAM and women who have had large fibroids removed with this groundbreaking procedure:

Sherri’s Story: Traveling for Fibroid Surgery
Jenny’s Story:
Remove Large Fibroids Safely

Call 888-SURGERY or contact us online to schedule an appointment and go over your options for gyn care. Out-of-town patients can benefit from innovative GYN surgery in the DC area through the CIGC travel program.

LEARN ABOUT CIGC

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Dr. Paul MacKoul Background | Dr. Paul MacKoul Reviews
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