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Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Fibroid Myth

Source: www.PRWeb.com

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 3, 2006 -- "Too many women of childbearing age are led to believe by their gynecologists or internists that the presence of uterine fibroids will prevent pregnancy," said world-renowned gynecologic surgery pioneer Thomas L. Lyons, MD, of the Center for Women's Care & Reproductive Surgery in Atlanta. "That's a myth. If they're not bothering you, you don't need to bother with them."

Numerous patients inquire about whether they should have fibroids removed in order to "clean themselves up" to enhance their chances of pregnancy, Dr. Lyons explained.

"Unfortunately, many surgeons will go along with a patient's wishes to have fibroids removed, even though evidence shows that fibroids do not really prevent pregnancy, and that women with fibroids do not have a higher risk of a bad pregnancy," he said.

"The obvious corollary to this is that their physicians want to perform the surgery or the procedure whether it's really necessary for the patient or not," said Dr. Lyons. "With in-office diagnostics like ultrasound, an accurate and relatively inexpensive method of ruling out ovarian abnormalities, and hysteroscopy, which can also be a treatment, we can tell what's happening with fibroids and whether they might present any problems."

In addition to offering leading therapies and procedures for fibroid detection and removal, Dr. Lyons developed the Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy (LSH) in 1990 and has performed thousands of them successfully.

Renowned as the global "go-to guy" on LSH, he has donated his time over nearly two decades to train hundreds of surgeons on this and other minimally invasive procedures he has developed.

Debunking the Myth
According to statistics cited on eHealthMD, only about six percent of women who are infertile have fibroids, and these are usually not the source of the infertility. Fibroids cause the problem in only 2- 3% of cases.

The real, but rare issue of fibroids causing infertility may include fibroids blocking sperm passage into one or both fallopian tubes, which may prevent the egg's fertilization.

Additionally, if fibroids fill the uterine cavity, they may block implantation of the fertilized egg.

Other rare issues include the possibility of premature labor or miscarriage due to fibroids in the uterine cavity, or an increased chance that the baby is not positioned to be born headfirst, necessitating cesarean section.

Since all these possibilities are so minimal, Dr. Lyons is shocked at the prevalent notion among women who want to bear children that they must be "fibroid-free" in order to conceive.

"Their own gynecologists often will not debunk this notion. It's up to the patient now to research her options," he said.

Do research and know your options. Discerning patients who aren't willing to settle for one opinion or "the way it's always been done" find Dr. Lyons on the Internet and come from as far as Tokyo, Rome, Madrid, Australia and Buenos Aires, seeking him as a second or third opinion.

They discuss numerous options including laparoscopic myomectomy,removal of the fibroids only, or drug therapy. Often, where other physicians will recommend a major surgery, Lyons suggests either a 'wait and see' approach or an easy, in-office procedure such as hysteroscopy.

"It's especially important that patients choose a surgeon who is experienced in working with lasers and laparoscopy. The minimally invasive procedures we perform require more skill than open abdominal procedures. They're easier on the patient, but more challenging for the surgeon," explained Dr. Lyons.

Many surgeons will attempt a laparoscopic procedure and feel it necessary to convert to an open surgery with a long incision during the procedure. Make sure to ask your surgeon about his or her conversion ratio. Dr. Lyons' conversion ratio is less than one percent. www.thomasllyons.com

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