Photo credit: Dr. Lipman

Photo credit: Dr. Lipman

Most women suffering with uterine fibroids only hear about surgery (typically hysterectomy). Dr. John C Lipman wants these women to know they have a much better option (uterine fibroid embolization or UFE) that allows them to get the relief of symptoms while completely avoiding the risks and long recovery of surgery, and most importantly they get to keep their uterus.

Dr. John C. Lipman is an interventional radiologist and the founder and medical director of the Atlanta Interventional Institute. He has been treating uterine fibroids with UFE for more than 20 years and has performed over 6,000 UFE procedures. Cynthia Bailey of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” was a patient of Dr. Lipman’s who is using her celebrity status to help educate women about the importance of the UFE procedure to control fibroids. The UFE procedure is performed as an outpatient with patients leaving Dr. Lipman’s facility with just a Band-Aid. The recovery is 5-7 days and patients get the relief of symptoms (heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, increased urinary frequency) while at the same time avoiding surgery and keeping their uterus.

Below, Dr. Lipman discusses his mission to help more women suffering with fibroids.

Why is the work you do, speaking all over the country about UFE, so important?
There are over one million women in this country suffering with fibroids in silence. They suffer without being treated because they have only been given one option from their doctor: surgery. Many patients are not comfortable with giving up their uterus, but are unaware of any other option. The average age of hysterectomy [patients] in the U.S. is less than 40. It is very important for women, particularly women of color who disproportionately suffer with fibroids, to get a second opinion from an experienced interventional radiologist in UFE, even if they have been told by their physician that they wouldn’t be a candidate for UFE.

Why do African American women suffer with fibroids more than other races?
Two reasons. The first is that fibroids are genetically more common in African American families. Second, fibroids grow with estrogen stimulation and a secondary estrogen source in your body is body fat. African American women have more body fat in general than other racial groups. An excellent way to combat fibroid symptoms is to eat healthy, exercise, and lose excess body fat. It will obviously be good for your overall health as well.

Why aren’t doctors telling their patients about UFE?
Doctors are obligated to inform patients of all of the treatment options, not just the ones they can provide. Some doctors do, but unfortunately most do not. That’s why it is so important that women who are suffering with fibroids know they have an outstanding treatment option (UFE) that is completely non-surgical and outpatient. They get the relief they’re looking for and can get back in to the game of life much quicker. UFE is safer, less invasive, less expensive, has a much shorter recovery than surgery and these women get to keep all of their parts!

For more information, visit www.atlii.com.