Do you have uterine fibroids? Has your doctor recommended a hysterectomy? If so, findings from a UCLA School of Medicine study suggest you get a second opinion. That second opinion might just help you to find a fibroid treatment procedure that doesn't require major surgery.1
About the UCLA study on fibroids and second opinions
This recommendation is based on a three-year study done at UCLA School of Medicine and published in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound. The study involved more than 200 women who visited Nelly Tan, MD, and a team of UCLA radiologists and gynecologists at a multidisciplinary fibroid treatment center.
Each of the women studied came to the fibroid clinic after having been told to have a hysterectomy to alleviate their fibroid symptoms. For most of these women, a hysterectomy had been the only treatment option offered.
Each of these women, upon coming to the clinic, underwent a physical exam, an MRI, and a meeting with a gynecologist and radiologist. At this meeting, instead of being offered only one treatment option for their fibroids, each woman was given an array of options from which to choose.
Findings on treatment option offerings
The study found that the simple act of giving patients a second opinion had dramatic results. More than half of the women (109) chose to move their care to the clinic. Perhaps more significantly, 90 percent of them chose either uterine-sparing procedures, medical therapy, or no treatment at all.
In about about 40 percent of cases, the hysterectomy treatment option is the only one offered to fibroid sufferers.2 At the clinic, however, a mere 4.4 percent of patients received a recommendation of a hysterectomy.
Women should know their fibroid treatment options
Women who are only given one treatment option from their physician don't necessarily know to look further. In addition, they may learn of options through non-medical sources such as the media, friends, and family.1
What Dr. Tan’s study reveals is that seeking a second opinion can make it easier for women to identify the least invasive procedure needed to treat their fibroids. Given that, she and her team recommend using fibroid centers where gynecologists and interventional radiologists work together.
According to Dr. Tan, “In our patient population, most women were candidates for uterine-preserving options and chose to undergo a minimally invasive uterine-preserving treatment. Our findings suggest that women desire minimally invasive therapies. A joint effort between gynecology and radiology may be one option for institutions to improve access to most, if not all, of the therapeutic options available for symptomatic uterine fibroids.”
So, if you find yourself facing a hysterectomy in order to treat your uterine fibroids, consider getting a second opinion from a fibroid expert. Knowing your options means having the power to find the treatment that works best for you. And best treatment for the patient is the treatment that everyone should be recommending.
VIVA EVE can provide a second opinion.
The doctors at VIVA EVE have years of experience in the treatment of both uterine fibroids and adenomyosis with the minimally-invasive uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
At VIVA EVE we provide high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We'll partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.
Sources for information referenced in this post
- Tan, N., McClure, T., Tarnay, C., Johnson, M., Lu, D., & Raman, S. (2014). Women seeking second opinion for symptomatic uterine leiomyoma: role of comprehensive fibroid center. Journal of Therapeutic Ultrawound, 2:3, doi: 10.1186/2050-5736-2-3
- Corona, L. E., Swenson, C. W., Sheetz, K. H., Shelby, G., Berger, M. B., Pearlman, M. D., Campbell, D. A., Delancey, J. O., & Morgan, D. M. (2015) Use of other treatments before hysterectomy for benign conditions in a statewide hospital collaborative. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 212(3): 304.e1-7. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2014.11.031