Patient StoryAug | 7 | 2019
Patient Story: Stephanie
Condition: Uterine fibroid
After finding out that she had a uterine fibroid that would necessitate a hysterectomy, Stephanie sought a second opinion at Mass General through the Remote Second Opinions program.
My health journey has been a complete rollercoaster. About six months ago, my primary care physician (PCP) discovered a large mass in my abdomen. Immediately, she ordered an ultrasound and CT scan to figure out what was going on.
I was told by my PCP that I had a large fibroid in my abdomen and I would need a hysterectomy. I was skeptical with her diagnosis because she had previously told me I was pregnant when I was not. She had also told me I was pre-diabetic, which I am not.
Knowing that a hysterectomy is a major life-altering surgery, I went with my gut and looked into getting a remote second opinion. I was interested in learning about minimally invasive treatment options as alternatives to a hysterectomy. I wanted the best chance of becoming pregnant in the future, and having a hysterectomy would have shattered that possibility. I also learned that my employer requires a second opinion prior to having a hysterectomy done.
I started my case for a remote second opinion and within a few hours, my care coordinator called. She told me my care team would send my records over to an expert and get me an opinion as soon as possible. Less than three days later, I received my expert opinion from Dr. John Petrozza, co-director of the Integrated Fibroid Program at Mass General and director of the hospital’s Fertility Center. Everything happened so fast.
I’m happy that I listened to my gut. Dr. Petrozza confirmed that I did not need a hysterectomy. Instead, he told me that I needed a myomectomy to remove the fibroid.
“In Stephanie’s case, her fibroid had already grown beyond the reasonable size to remove with a minimally invasive approach,” said Dr. Petrozza. “While there are different procedures that I could have recommended based on her CT scan and my experience as a reproductive surgeon, I felt that the procedure that would optimize the health of her uterus for future pregnancy was an open abdominal myomectomy.”
Going into surgery, I was 100% certain this was the correct procedure for me and the only option for my situation.
After my surgery, I found out that my fibroid weighed five pounds. While it was a major surgery, I am thankful that I received the correct surgical procedure and avoided a hysterectomy. Dr. Petrozza was there for me when I needed him and answered all my questions.
My experience with the Remote Second Opinions program at Mass General was easy from beginning to end. I am incredibly grateful for the peace of mind the service gave me, the ease of getting a remote second opinion and the knowledge that qualified physicians took the proper time to go through medical records to find the best possible solution for my case.
- Chief, Division of Reproductive Medicine and IVF
- Director, Massachusetts General Fertility Center
- Co-Director, MGH Integrated Fibroid Program
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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mass General has advanced the science and the quality of care for women since 1891.
OB/GYN at Mass General
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