Fibroids and African American Women: The Alarming Statistics

Fibroids and African American Women: The Alarming Statistics

By the age of 50, an estimated 80 percent of African-American women will have developed uterine fibroids. The benign growths cause period pain, heavy bleeding and can hinder a woman's ability to conceive and carry a child to term. Just as alarming, according to a 2013 study, 43 percent of African-American women with fibroids often wait four or more years longer than their white counterparts to seek treatment, which can lead to even more severe symptoms.

According to that same 2013 study, when many African-American women eventually did seek medical treatment, it was often too late—hysterectomies were performed on African-American women 2.4 times more than white women.

Left untreated, fibroids can grow in size and be as small as a grain of rice and as large as a grapefruit. Women can have a single fibroid or have multiple. They can have symptoms or be asymptomatic.

There are five types of fibroids. They are:

  • Intramural Fibroids that grow into the wall of the uterus (most common)
  • Subserosal Fibroids that grow on the outside of the uterus
  • Submucosal Fibroids located in the muscle beneath the lining of the uterine wall, or endometrium
  • Intracavity Fibroids that are located in the uterine cavity
  • Cervical Fibroids that form in the cervix

African-American Women, Pregnancy, and Fibroids

Fibroids can create pregnancy complications, especially for African-American women, who are prone to high-risk pregnancies arising from gestational fibroids. Common complications due to fibroids include cesarean section, a breech baby, pre-term delivery, placental abruption—when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before delivery, leading to a lack of oxygen for the fetus—and a stalled labor.

Here at Seckin Endometriosis Center, no matter what kind of fibroid you have, we encourage our patients who are experiencing a loss in quality of life and comfort to seek early and timely surgical intervention to achieve better health outcomes. 

Surgical Treatment of Fibroids

When it comes to fibroids, hysterectomy should be the last and final option and should be the patient's choice first. At Seckin Endometriosis Center, our surgeon Dr. Tamer Seckin employs a number of masterful techniques to safely remove fibroids and restore a woman's reproductive health and livelihood. 

There are five different kinds of surgical treatments for fibroids. They are:

  • MyomectomyThis is the surgical removal of myomas via cutting into the uterus, followed by uterine suture repair. There are three types of myomectomies: laparotomic, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic myomectomies
  • Laparotomic myomectomy: This open abdominal surgery gives the surgeon full visualization to remove the fibroids.
  • Laparoscopic myomectomy: Minimally invasive abdominal surgery that is the preferred method for removing fewer than four small fibroids. This is a much more precise, difficult and longer surgery, but is also extremely effective
  • Hysteroscopic myomectomy: Minimally invasive vaginal surgery used only for small, pedunculated submucosal fibroids. This procedure does not require an incision into the abdomen
  • Hysterectomy-The surgical removal of the uterus. This surgery should only be used as a last resort for treating fibroids. If the fibroids are large, diffuse and cannot be treated by any other protocol than a hysterectomy is considered. Very rarely is this form of surgery needed for fibroids, and yet it accounts for ⅓ of hysterectomies in the U.S.

Our Approach

Dr. Seckin is highly skilled in treating most cases of fibroids via laparoscopic myomectomy and uterine repair. His preferred method of fibroid removal is via laparoscopic surgery, which can remove the fibroid at its root with less downtime than an invasive surgery. Very, very rarely do we see the need for an open, invasive myomectomy, which requires a longer time to heal and a much larger incision or a hysterectomy. 

Patient Story

"I discovered Dr. Seckin online when I was doing some research on laparoscopic fibroid removal. I had a very large uterine fibroid that caused me constant discomfort, and I desperately wanted it removed. Previous doctors I had seen were either dismissive about my fibroid or just wanted to give me a hysterectomy, as it would be “easiest." Then there were the doctors who would be willing to remove my fibroid less invasively but whose costs were so high that I could never afford them despite having good health insurance. I was beginning to feel disheartened and discouraged that I would ever find a solution. 

I called Dr. Seckin’s office hoping that this might be my answer and after talking with Kim, who was so very kind and helpful, I made an appointment. Both Kim and Lucy were so warm and welcoming and patient in answering every question I had. Once I met Dr. Seckin I knew right away that I was in good hands. He reassured me that he could take care of my fibroid by removing it laparoscopically, in the least invasive way possible. He also assured me that regardless of my insurance issues and finances, he would take care of me and not to worry. I knew that he genuinely cared and I felt relieved and confident that I was under the right care. 

It has since been a couple of months since my surgery, and I couldn’t be happier. I no longer have the discomfort and pressure that I was used to having daily. I cannot thank Dr. Seckin and his staff enough for helping me through this situation and for taking such great care of me. Dr. Seckin is by far one of the most compassionate and caring doctors I have ever met. I am so grateful for having found him, and I am forever grateful to for all his care and kindness."

Suzan

Our office is located on 872 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065.
You may call us at 646-960-3040 or have your case reviewed by clicking here.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Grace Larsen

    After years of excessively painful periods, a serious loss of quality of life, and a series of uninformed and uninterested doctors, Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein turned my life around. I was told I woke up from my surgery almost a year ago with a smile on my face, and I haven't stopped since. Before I heard of Dr. Seckin,…

  • Nicole Novakowski

  • Jacqueline Galindo

    Dr Seckin and his team gave me back my life! Tomorrow will be 1 month since my surgery and I feel great. Dr. Seckin, Dr Liu, and Dr Goldstein are not only beyond words talented and amazing Doctors, but they are also genuinely wonderful and caring people. I cannot say enough great things about Holly, Asiye and Kim as well.…

  • Anna Lu

    Dr. Seckin and his staff spared me from years and years of heavy periods and unbearable endometriosis pain. After having surgery with him (my first) I can now function like a regular human. No more eating NSAIDs like candy and calling out sick from work. Thank you, Dr. Seckin!

  • Sarper Kocabiyik

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  • Sarper Kocabiyik

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  • Sheena Wright

    I underwent surgery with Dr. Seckin in 2017 and have felt like a new woman ever since. If you have, or suspect you have endometriosis, Dr. Seckin and his compassionate team of surgeons and staff are a must-see.

  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…