What questions should I ask my fibroid doctor?

Continuing my series on fibroid doctors with this final post. I am fortunate to have many contributors here who add helpful comments. A good one on questions to ask a uterine fibroid doctor was left by fibroid free. I’ve edited them slightly to apply to all surgeries or procedures.

ask doctors questions

  1. What is your background or specialty (e.g. OB/GYN, GYN surgeon, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Fertility specialist, Interventional Radiologist)?
  2. How long have you been performing this surgery or procedure?
  3. How many have you performed?
  4. How many have turned into a hysterectomy? (This, of course, if you have not chosen hysterectomy.)
  5. What is the risk that you will need to do another type of procedure once the surgery starts?
  6. If a hysterectomy is required, do you do a partial (uterus), total (uterus + cervix), or total with removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes (uterus + cervix + ovaries + fallopian tubes) or do you close me up and let me decide for myself?
  7. [Adding this question for women who have chosen hysterectomy. Many hysterectomies are performed each year for reasons that do not involve fibroids.] Are you comfortable and experienced in performing this surgery in a woman with fibroids of my size, location, and number?
  8. Do you perform your OWN surgery? Is my case a “teaching” case? Will medical students, interns, or residents be there?
  9. What do the MRI and ultrasound results really mean? (Get an explanation of all results and terms you do not understand.)
  10. Do any of my fibroids appear attached to other organs? (This is rare but worth asking if the doctor does not bring it up.)
  11. What do we need to do going forward? What is the plan? (Sounds like “EclecticGeek’s Master Plan”. 😉 )
  12. What tests do I need prior to the surgery or procedure (e.g. blood work, endometrial biopsy)?
  13. Do I need any other treatments prior to the surgery or procedure?
  14. What is the timing of the surgery or procedure? Before my period? After my period?
  15. Do I need to take iron beforehand?
  16. Do I need to give my own blood for surgery beforehand?
  17. Do you use a cell saver (to “clean and circulate my own blood during surgery)?
  18. What do you typically do during the surgery or procedure? (Get details!)
  19. How do you stop the fibroids from bleeding when you are removing them?
  20. What are the potential complications?
  21. What are the alternative procedures if there are problems?
  22. Who else is involved with the surgery or procedure (e.g. Anesthesiologist, other doctors on standby)?
  23. How long does this surgery or procedure take (minutes, hours)?
  24. How long will I need to be in the hospital (hours, days)?
  25. What is the recovery time? (I’ll stick a bell curve reference here. 🙂 )
  26. How long does it take to heal?
  27. How long do I need to wait before attempting to get pregnant?
  28. Will the surgery or procedure affect childbirth (e.g. C-section required)?

Thanks fibroid free!

I’ll just add a few that cover things I came across:

  1. How will my anemia impact the timing of my surgery or procedure?
  2. How will you treat my anemia?
  3. What is the goal of Lupron treatment (e.g. helping the anemia, shrinking fibroids)? Side effects?
  4. What type of anesthesia is used with this surgery or procedure (e.g. general, conscious sedation)? Side effects?
  5. How is pain during and after managed? What medications? Side effects?
  6. How much time needs to pass between procedures?
  7. What follow-up care will I receive?

Other questions:

  1. What is the estimated cost?
  2. What costs, if any, will be covered by my insurance? (This is especially important with ExAblate since it’s still relatively new.)
  3. Will my life change? Will I need to make changes in my work, family life, and leisure time?
  4. How will you know that my surgery or procedure is working (has worked)?
  5. What symptoms or problems post-op should I report right away?
  6. What are the chances that my fibroids come back with the treatment options we have discussed?
  7. Will I still be able to have children after treatment?
  8. What is the best time to call you if I have a question?

Make sure that all your questions and concerns are answered. Keep calling your doctor if necessary. Prepare a list of questions and take notes. I have a separate composition notebook to record fibroid stuff. My Interventional Radiologist kept wondering what I scribbled as I sat in my hospital bed post-UFE.

Tell me your thoughts and what questions you have asked your doctor(s).

——————–

Related Posts:
What questions should I ask my fibroid doctor during follow-up visits after a procedure?
How do I find a good local fibroid doctor?
How do I evaluate or rate a fibroid doctor?

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6 Responses to “What questions should I ask my fibroid doctor?”

  1. fibroid free Says:

    Thanks! its easier to read this list then to drone through my AM novelettes LOL

  2. EclecticGeek Says:

    But your AM novelettes are priceless! LOL

  3. mona Says:

    I have 6 fibroids and I have consulted 3 different doctors. They all tell me I need a Hysterectomy and don’t even consider a Myomectomy. I finally found one who would even consider it and will see him next week. Does any one here knows of a site that will clearly explain what will happen to the uterus after a myomectomy, if there is a max number of fibroids to have before they rule it out? etc etc…thanks…really worried about all this

  4. bunnysen Says:

    If you want to have kids and you want to have natural childbirth, ask about where any incisions will be and in what direction. I had a myomectomy last year and am now pregnant and just learning how important that is to your ability to be a candidate for natural childbirth. The least risky cut is horizontal and low on the uterus. The risk of complications becomes much greater if the cut is vertical and above the lower half of the uterus. The cut on the outside is irrelevent (most are low “bikini cuts” but ask what they are doing on the inside.


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