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You are not alone. Millions of women have uterine fibroids. Share your success stories, your challenges, your fears. Ask questions, find answers and be a part of the discussion.

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The Fibroid Treatment Collaborative, Chicago Urogynecology and Austin Urogynecology combine medical expertise with compassionate care to treat a range of gynecological and urogynecological conditions. The Center uses the latest medical and surgical techniques, so women get the therapy that is best for their lifestyle.


We provide comprehensive care for a range of pelvic conditions, including:

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  • joycec says: April 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm Early May 2009 I had a Partial Laproscopic Hysterectomy by the world renowned Dr. Abraham Shashoua at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chgo., IL.. I am a R.N. so my evaluation would be critical and my expectations were high. My surgery was uneventful and went very well.
  • It was amazing I experienced minimal pain with no complications. I highly recommend him to all. I am very pleased with my outcome. He is wonderful , capable, and knowledgable surgeon. It was a honor and a blessing to entrust my health in his hands. I could go on and on but I won,t. IN SHORT HE'S GREAT.

  • LindaB says: June 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Joyce - I'm glad it went so well. I had a uterine fibroid embolization 10/2007 (more than 9 tumors, the largest being 14.5 centimeters-softball or grapefruit sized-sitting on my bladder). The 45 minute surgery took 4 hours, with a 10 day recovery. Unfortunately, the tumors are still alive & kicking, although they have started to die off slowly. I have consulted a specialist at Mass General Hospital in Boston and have another ultrasound and endometrial biopsy scheduled in 2 weeks. It looks like I am going to need a hysterectomy. I am hoping they can do the Partial Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. I am thrilled to hear it went so well and the recovery was minimal for you! Thanks for the information!!!!!!

  •  Dr. Shashoua says: June 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for the post LindaB. While UFE is an effective treatment for most women, about 25-35% of women will require future treatments, including hysterectomy. Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.

  • Hello doc, I am from Nigeria, I'm 33yrs old. I have fibroid for the past 5yrs now, I've bin afraid to go for the surgery for fear of loosing my fertility or my life cos of the kind of stories I've bin hearing from others, but the tin is growing very big as the years go bye. i visited a gaeneacologist of recent and he told me that from the size he is seeing, I may have searious bleeding during the surgery and that they may need to cut off my womb.
    Pls doc, I need your advice, I'm confused, sick, worried, tired and afraid to lose my life or my womb cos I'm not married yet and have no child yet. 
    Pls I'll be very grateful if you can be of help to me in anyway.

  • Dr. Shashoua says:  January 4, 2009  It is very uncommon to need a hysterectomy during a myomectomy.  I recommend asking your doctor if that hs ever happened and how often.
    It may be wise to get another opinion.

  • Tracie from North Carolina says on January 31, 2010.  My name is Tracie, and on January 11 of this year, I had surgery to remove a uterine fibroid that weighed 2 pounds and had pushed out my uterus significantly.  I looked roughly 14 to 16 weeks pregnant, and I was a young patient who is  only 28 years old.  I have never had children, though my husband and I want to someday, and I wanted to preserve my potential fertility unless it simply wasn't an option for me.  In the early stages of looking into this, although my mom had fibroids herself that were removed when she was in her 40s, it was considered that I might have cancer.  Instead, gratefully, I found out it was a large fibroid mass.    I had to have a myomectomy.

    My care in the hospital was exceptional from my doctor and the staff, and my recovery was only hindered by a bad respiratory reaction to the morphine that no one could have known I would have, as i never had had morphine given to me or had surgery for any reason.  My incision is gradually healing, and my abdomen pain seems to lessen day by day.  I have used little pain meds and quit taking them by the Thursday of my first week home.  I do not take tylenol, either, though I could.  I am still recovering and am resting at home.  I cannot bend or lift things yet, but my doctor believes my age and good health will help me heal well in these things, too.  I see my abdomen shrinking some as time has gone on, and now, at the beginning of February, I feel better, too.  I am technically due for a period and wonder what it will be like now, whenever that does come.  I am due for a followup with my doctor for this Thursday.  I am looking forward to that.

    My experience with surgery was positive, and I encourage other women to pursue that option if it is right for them.  The one fibroid I did have was debilitating.  It was just beginning to degenerate, and my doctor did have concerns about blood flow to my pelvic area due to it having blood vessels, etc.   Because of its location and size, I will have to have a c section in the future if I am ever pregnant to deliver the baby.  This is fine with me; I feel fortunate I will have the possibility of getting pregnant at all, not to mention having a c section to deliver.  I am fine with this.  I had left things open to the possibility of a hysterectomy, but at 28, definitely did not want this.

    I am glad the myomectomy is  done, though the hospital stay was tough for me and for my husband and sister.  I was so grateful for family support; as someone who recovers from it, you might have a lot of needs for the most basic of help, and I would recommend scheduling it for a time when you can have a spouse, close friend, or family present to help you.  Any person there needs to not mind doing basic things for you and to be calm in everything to help remember things that might be hard on medicine.  I forgot a lot and struggled to think straight at times.  I read magazines I didn't even recognize when I re-read them at home later, not remembering a thing.  That was just one thing.  There were others, like questions to ask the doctor when the came in and remembering to put on a bathrobe before I tried to walk out for a stroll (thanks to my sister, she stopped me and helped me put it on)  .Preparing the home for your recovery time is important, too.

    I was very happy with my surgery to remove the fibroid, and I was well informed beforehand, so I knew what I was getting into.  It was not worth suffering through years of pain, potentially destroying any future hope of pregnancy through letting this go, terrible periods with heavy bleeding, and an appearance physically that---not to be vain---embarrassed me, as I was often mistaken for being pregnant or gaining weight.  I felt uncomfortable with my stomach and pelvic area.  My uterus was pushed up to my belly button, it was so enlarged.  I could feel the hard top of it at my navel.  After surgery, even before all my swelling is gone from the effects of surgery and the incision itself, my stomach area and pelvic area look less full and are flatter.

    I had roughly four to five days of vaginal bleeding afterward, but nothing that alarmed anyone.  It was almost like a period but without real cramps since I took pain medicine (morphine initially but was switched to percoset) and am not sure if it was truly a period.  I had had a real period the week before my surgery, actually, so it might have been strange to have it right afterward.  the post surgery bleeding tapered off to nothing quickly, though.

    Now, at the beginning of February, there is no bleeding at all.  I do have a slight numb spot on the right side of my belly, and my right side of my tummy seems more swollen than my left, but only slightly.  The incision has a slight curved shape and is healing well.  It is sensitive to touch, and it still does hurt to bend too far or to twist in any odd position, such as in sleeping.  I am not pushing myself, though I am trying to be fairly active.  I needed frequent naps the first week home, but now I have only napped once in a while.  I am not back to work yet and am not able.

    My fears were great before I embarked on this surgery, and I am glad I did choose to do it.  It was well worth it.  I noticed immediately I could pee without heavy pressure and less frequently than usual, and I do not feel as bloated or "full."  I know some aspects of surgery like this are a scary prospect, but this was the right decision for me, and my faith in God helped me get through those fears.  Friends and family have supported me and prayed for me and encouraged me constantly.  This was truly a life changing surgery, and I know even now I've not grasped the full ramifcations of what this will do for me.  My husband and I are very happy this was what I had done and now feel free to enjoy our lives together without all that this fibroid was doing to me through my periods, pain, gas pressure, sexual pain, and other debilitating issues.  We know this is going to be such a good thing for me.  It was well worth it, as I said before.  Very much so.

    Dr. Shashoua says on 2/2/2010 - Thanks for your post.  I am sure many women will find comfort in your story.  The fact is that most women delay surgery and regret the delay after going through with surgery.

  • Kofi says on 2/6/2010 - We have been married for the past five years but my wife is not getting pregnant, doctors say it because of her fibroid but we are afraid to undergo an operation. We  fear that she might not give birth the surgery. we are confused ,please advice us.
  •  

    Dr. Shashoua says on 2/6/2010 - Uterine fibroids may affect the ability to get pregnant.  Many factors go into whether a fibroid is considered significant.  Size, location, tubal patency all may affect the decision to remove a fibroid.  Submucous fibroids are most associated with infertility and miscarriage and should usually be treated prior to getting pregnant.  Other studies show larger intramural fibroids may also affect the ability to get pregnant, especially when undergoing in vitro fertilization.  Check out the section on fertility and fibroids. http://www.fibroid.com/fibroids-infertility/  Thanks and good luck.

    Jane says on 2/28/2010 - I wrestled with with the decision of whether or how to treat my growing fibroid tumors for months. The tumors were large, but I didn't have any of the debilitating side effects that I know they can cause. However, because I was 47 when they were diagnosed, I figured they had several more years to continue growing and would eventually start to cause problems.
    My long-time gyno recommended a myomectomy using standard surgery. I knew I definitely didn't want to sign up for that! A friend recommended I see Dr. Shashoua for a second opinion, so I made an appointment, even though my own doctor had told me my tumors were too large to remove laproscopically.
    Well, my long-time doctor was wrong -- after I got a couple of Lupron injections to shrink the tumors, Dr. Shashoua and his team used the fabulous DaVinci Robot to remove the tumors along with my uterus. (I opted for a hysterectomy, mainly because I didn't want a new set of fibroids to appear.)
    The surgery went just fine, though the tumors were stlll quite large and apparently took longer than normal to remove. And my recovery has been a breeze. I had a couple of days where I was uncomfortable, but after that I've felt fine.
    My one piece of advice for women considering surgery or other treatments is to do some research and, if possible, talk to other women who have already been through what you're facing. I did a lot of web browsing, and I know there are many, many sites and blogs with women's personal experiences with fibroids, hysterectomies, etc. Some of these can be very negative and inaccurate, so do some due diligence to get REAL information to inform your decision and prepare yourself.
    I was lucky enough to have 3 friends who have been through similar/identical procedures, who were willing to tell me EVERYTHING they experienced, from post-surgery pain levels, to facing the "anti-hysterectomy" contingent of women, to their experiences with sex after hysterectomies. It was invaluable to get their perspective as patients and know what to expect in the hospital and in the days following.
    As a side note, one of my big fears was side effects from the Lupron. I had heard and read horror stories about mood swings, hot flashes, cramps that were so bad the patients could not continue with the treatment--but I didn't experience any of those. I had only two injections, so I may have dodged a bullet there.
    I'm really happy with my decision--from finding a specialist who could perform non-invasive surgery (that's Dr. Shashoua), to opting for a hysterectomy. I'm looking forward to a healthy menopause and a healthy life!

     

    I am only 26 and was diagnosed with uterine fibroids a year ago after complaining to my obgyn of pain for 5 years.  I was told I had 3 small fibroids but one was towards the exit of my uterus and was causing the large blood clots during my period.  However now it has been 7 months since my last period.  My obgyn isnt concerned and wont even see me until my yearly appointment, but I am very concerned.  I dont want to ruin my chances of fertility in the future.  What should I do?

    Ashley says on 3/25/2010 - I am only 26 and was diagnosed with uterine fibroids a year ago after complaining to my obgyn of pain for 5 years.  I was told I had 3 small fibroids but one was towards the exit of my uterus and was causing the large blood clots during my period.  However now it has been 7 months since my last period.  My obgyn isnt concerned and wont even see me until my yearly appointment, but I am very concerned.  I dont want to ruin my chances of fertility in the future.  What should I do?

    Dr. Shashoua says on 3/25/2010 - It sounds as though your pain is the biggest issue.  The fibroids may or may not  be contributing to the pain.  From what I understand after talking with you, you are on oral contraceptives.  This is the most likely reason for the missed periods.  If the pain is significant to you, a laparoscopy my help determine whether you have endometriosis or other causes of pelvic pain.  If you are concerned, your doctor should be as well.  Good luck.

    Yve on 3/28/2010 -I have a large fibroid grapefruit sized.  Had a hysteroscopy in mid feb and have not stopped bleeding since.  Taking metronidazole and norethisterone, but am bleeding through.  I would like to know what the bleeding is. 6 weeks and counting, have another month to see consultant.  Can anyone tell me why I am still bleeding?

    Dr. Shashoua says on 3/28/2010 -  Large fibroids, especially those that distort the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, frequently cause heavy, uncontrollable bleeding.  Many times, this bleeding does not resolve with medical treatment.  Please look at the sections on myomectomy (http://www.fibroid.com/myomectomy) and uterine fibroid embolization (http://www.fibroid.com/ufe).  These options may represent your best chance at controlling your bleeding.

    Christie in Austin, TX says on 4/17/2010 -  I am 37 years old and when I was 34, I had a hysterectomy due to large uterine fibroids. My doctor removed my uterus and cervix and the fibroids. Within the last few months, I have started to have pain again, identical to the pain I experienced when I had the fibroids. Painful sex, pressure in my lower abdomen, pain when sitting, painful bowel movements and pain when coughing or sneezing. I was just wondering if fibroids could return after a hysterectomy? I still have my ovaries, but that's it. I've read conflicting reports that say they cannot return, but then I saw one that said that they can grow on your ovaries or intestinal walls. I just wanted to get your opinion. I don't have insurance, or else I would have already gone back to my doctor for a check up. I appreciate your assistance!

    Dr. Shashoua says on 4/17/2010 - There have been reports of fibroids occurring in other places after a hysterectomy, but these cases are rare.  More likely, you may have a new reason for pain, or an old issue that wasn't addressed at the time of the hysterectomy.  Endometriosis symptoms may improve after hysterectomy, but can also occur with continued ovarian function and estrogen production.  Adhesions, or post-operative scar tissue may contribute to pain.  Finally, some of the symptoms that you describe can be attributed to pelvic floor dysfunction and may respond to pelvic floor physical therapy.  The symptoms you report require further evaluation to determine the cause. 

    Dawn says on 9/13/2010 - I have a grapefruit size fibroid that was diagnosed in my early 20's during my first pregnancy.  The fibroid was the reason I always had heavy painful periods, but beyond that, it never affected me in any other way (as far as I know)- and it never interfered in either of my pregnancies (my second was at age 40).  I am 58 yrs old.  My last period was age 52.  Around that time (2004) I began to feel a blockage during intercourse causing discomfort and pain (this had never happened before), and to this day continues to make intercourse impossible. I do not understand how, when just at a time fibroids should begin to shrink during menopause, mine became a problem in this way.  According to my gynecologist, it has shrunk -very minimally, and I show no sign of prolapse or any other changes that would account for it.  Yet, he says I it is definitely the fibroid I am feeling. I have my doubts because I never felt it prior to 2004 and it hasn't changed much in size (except to get slightly smaller).   So now that my husband and I have opportunity for intercourse without fear of pregnancy, we are unable to have it!  Any insights you might have would be greatly appreciated.

    Dr. Shashoua replies on 9/13/2010 - It is definitely possible that your fibroid has caused your symptoms.  As the fibroid shrinks with menopause, the fibroid may have reentered the pelvis causing an obstruction in the vagina.  I think you have multiple options including UFE, myomectomy and hysterectomy.  Let me know if I can help. 

    Joie says on 10/10/2010 Is it true that when you have hysterectomy, your sexual desire will diminish? Please advise me, I have three fibroids, 2 in the uterus one outside the lining. I am so concerned and is quiet confused on what decision for the procedure I want to be done..For me sexual desire is very important as a human being...are there any alternatives if what to do or take if sexual desire is gone?

    Dr. Shashoua replies on 10/10/2010 -The impact of hysterectomy on sexual desire is controversial. Many studies show sexual function and desire improve after hysterectomy. This has probably many explanations. If the ovaries are preserved, there is usually no reason for hormone therapy after hysterectomy.
    Some women notice a change in their sexual response after a hysterectomy. Because the uterus has been removed, uterine contractions that may have been felt during orgasm will no longer occur.

    Some women feel more sexual pleasure after hysterectomy. This may be because they no longer have to worry about getting pregnant. It also may be because they no longer have the discomfort or heavy bleeding caused by the problem leading to hysterectomy.

    Some women wish to have a supracervical hysterectomy because they think it will have less of an impact on their sexual response compared with a total hysterectomy. Whereas sexual response is different for every woman, research comparing women who have had total hysterectomies with those who have had supracervical hysterectomies has shown that there is no difference in sexual response and orgasms in women who have had the two types of surgery.