Myomectomy, scheduled

This is a letter I wrote to The Fibroids Project, after they kindly wished me well on Twitter.   As with a lot of things, I didn’t realize I had so many thoughts about this until I inadvertently wrote them to someone.   Also, they are angry thoughts, so be warned.

 

I am an ob/gyn’s daughter in Honolulu. He does open myomectomies fairly often & surgery is done outpatient Friday with patients returning to work Monday. There have been no complications, ever. His patients are all very happy. So I was led to believe that myomectomies are safe & uncomplicated.

I was seeing an ob/gyn my dad had recommended, a fairly prestigious former student who my dad had a lot of faith in. When my gyn found my fibroids, there were 2, & they were tiny, about half inch diameter. He said he would “watch” them. He didn’t. He only sent me for formal ultrasound when I insisted on it. I had complained of pelvic pain for 2 or 3 visits over several months, & when I finally put my foot down about doing something about it, he seemed peeved.

By that time, I had 4 golfball sized fibroids (that could be seen) & my uterus was 12 week size. How could he not have felt the enlargement of my uterus?? He had said nothing! He offered me a hysterectomy. He said to wait for menopause. He said he’d discontinue my birth control – take away my estrogen. Every option involved causing me to age faster, & I don’t need help with that. I have fibroids, not cancer. This is not life threatening, so why is my quality of life being threatened?

What it comes down to is that the WAY OF THINKING here in Honolulu (I don’t know about elsewhere) is that if a woman gets fibroids, let them grow big until you can just castrate her. You know, if a man got a pimple on his penis, the doctor would just remove it. The doctor would not wait until it got SO BIG that you had to cut off his whole dick.

So I left & found another doctor who is going to do my myomectomy on June 10. My dad had to ask around the nurses at the hospitals to find doctors who do myomectomies with success in order to help me find someone. Apparently they are rare; everyone just does the damn hysterectomies. I am praying that this doctor is as proficient as my father so I can go home to my dogs & have a quick recovery. For the first time, I envy my dad’s patients for being his patients.

I am angry about this. It’s not my former doctor’s fault that he is a wuss & maybe a lousy surgeon who is afraid to do a myomectomy or maybe just a narrow-minded chauvinistic pig or maybe just lazy… but I’m angry that the options for women with fibroids are so unnecessarily PUNITIVE because it is NOT OUR FAULT EITHER that we have fibroids.

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8 responses to “Myomectomy, scheduled

  1. This just seems outrageous. Is this really the prevailing attitude, or are you experiencing some weird sub-segment of the profession that defies reasonable thinking? You’d think women doctors would at least see it your way.

    June 10. I will pray, if you don’t mind. Or even if you do.

    When Jen had her procedure, I supported her by listened only to Hooters music all day. What would be an appropriate playlist for this? :)

    • My dad says this is simply how they are taught in med school. Also consider that a myomectomy pays around $1800 while a hysterectomy is closer to $4k. And prayers for a fast, uncomplicated recovery (I have yet to meet an oral painkiller that doesn’t make me sick… so I may do my convalescence without any) are welcome!

      Playlist… well, I notice that INXS, REM, Tom Petty, & Yes are my analgesic bands. Thank you, M. =)

    • Thanks Rob… I’m not sure what she could tell me unless she goes to the same doctor as me. As mentioned, my dad does these all the time so I know how they go when the doctor is good. I work my dad’s office & have 100+ former myomectomy patients I could ask questions of if that was what I wanted, but they would all tell me the same thing… in Friday, back to work Monday, no complications. I need to know how THIS doctor is, but it’s not like I can go through his patient files. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

  2. Hey Lauren, I wish you the sincere best with that mate. I know the feeling of trying to narrow down the confident, prudent, risk-aware, accurate surgeons, having had two cancer surgeries in my neck now. I think you’re totally right to be pissed. Once the fibroids have been successfully and healthily removed, you should walk them into the fucker’s office in a glass jar and say “It took me a while to find a jar large enough to fit these into. Thanks for the help, arse-hole. ” Love and hugs mate :*

    • Thanks Shane! My dad insists he’s just following the protocol he’s used to, so I shouldn’t blame him. But I may write a polite letter. I haven’t decided yet.

  3. Hi,
    I live on Maui and have had similar frustrations.
    I have 2 calcified fibroids. One is 15 cm. I am 58 and post menopausal.
    I am looking for the least invasive solution.
    Does your Dr still do Myomectomies in HNl?
    Can he help me?

    • Hi Barbara – I had my myomectomy done by Dr. Irwin Lee, in Honolulu. He is still in practice, although he is of the older generation of doctors getting decimated by Obamacare so I would call him sooner than later. His staff isn’t the brightest, but he’s a very personable & kind doctor, & he did a good job. Their office number is 808-522-7380. Best of luck to you.

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