A new, incision-free fibroid treatment grants relief to Colorado woman

February 1, 2022
Woman enjoying the outdoors.

Tiffany Brower was perfectly healthy and enjoyed her active lifestyle – until her extremely heavy menses rolled around each month to upend her life.

“My periods were getting worse and worse over the last few years,” says the Boulder-area radiation therapist. Along with 70 to 80 percent of women in the United States, Brower discovered she had fibroids – non-cancerous growths in the uterus. Many women of childbearing years may not even realize they have fibroids, but for some they can cause extremely heavy menstrual bleeding as well as a higher risk of infertility.

Brower’s periods were so heavy and disruptive that she’d sometimes have to cancel plans. When she was diagnosed with anemia, “I finally knew I had to do the something.”

To ease her menstrual flow, Brower, 41, tried a contraceptive vaginal ring, but that didn’t help. A birth control pill made her vomit, and progesterone hormone therapy only seemed to make her periods worse. Searching in online community forums for answers, she came across a procedure that is only performed locally by two physicians, Mandi Beman, MD – a board certified gynecologist in the Denver area – being one of them. Dr. Beman, a strong advocate for women’s health, is among an elite group of physicians who have completed a fellowship in minimally invasive gynecological surgery at Harvard Medical School.

After consulting with Dr. Beman, Brower decided to try an incision-free procedure that is clinically proven to reduce fibroid symptoms. “I really appreciated how she didn’t try to steer me in any direction,” Brower says, “and my insurance covered it.”

During the procedure, Dr. Beman inserts a handpiece with a miniature high-resolution ultrasound tip that allows her to see the fibroids from inside the uterus. She treats each fibroid with a process called an ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to shrink it over time. The uterus is preserved.

Brower underwent the outpatient procedure in May and had no problems besides nausea the next day from the anesthesia. “I had planned to take four days off work but I didn’t need to,” she says. “I could even have gone back the next day if I had to. I was totally fine.”

While her periods are still on the heavy side, Brower no longer has to deal with the overwhelming bleeding she coped with for years. “I no longer have the clotting and my periods are much less painful,” she says.

Tiffany also notes that it’s nice not to have her dread her menstrual cycle each month. “Knowing I will not have this moment while I am out hiking has been a real relief,” she says. “I would have to cancel activities, knowing that would be my ‘bad period day.’ I think my procedure was such a great option and I really would love for the women of Denver to know they have access to this and how easy it is.”