While fans are excited that Cara Maria Sorbello, returns to season 39’s The Challenge’s Battle for A New Champion, they might be supposed to learn that the two-time champion’s toughest opponent yet wasn’t on a set – it was fibroids.
Diagnosed with a 16 cm fibroid (about the size of a small watermelon), Sorbello faced the daunting prospect of traditional treatments like medication and surgery. However, she discovered a game-changer: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive procedure offering relief without major surgery.
Fibroids are common growths or tumors of the uterus that usually appear during a woman’s childbearing years. Even though fibroid tumors are not cancerous, there are other important reasons to treat them: to resolve pain. While many women experience painful symptoms, others, like Sorbello, discover they have fibroids by accident. Approximately 80 percent of females will have fibroids in their lifetime. Check out if you are at risk with our fibroid symptom checker:
Sorbello’s fibroids were diagnosed unexpectedly when she was having an ultrasound to check on her birth control method. Her physician recommended Lupron mediation for six months, which would throw her into menopause, followed by surgery to rebuild her uterus.
Sorbello, 37, wanted to preserve her fertility, so she rejected a hysterectomy, often recommended as fibroid treatment. However, she also felt the treatment she was offered didn’t align with her priorities.
In September, the fan-favorite detailed her fibroid journey, explaining that while some women might opt for a hysterectomy, she wanted to keep her options open. The position of the fibroid meant she “could never bring a baby to term” if she ever desired children.
Unsure of her options, Sorbello sought a second opinion. She connected with Dr. Jacob White, Director of Fibroid Services at USA Fibroid Centers. Dr. White’s expertise and understanding of UFE’s potential gave Sorbello the information and confidence she needed to explore this alternative path. After the meeting, the TV personality reflected on her experience via Instagram.
Sorbello explained, “This 16-centimeter fibroid completely protruded my entire belly, and the only option that I thought I’d have was surgery. It’s so big, in fact, that I was supposed to be put on six months of Lupron, which is a crazy menopause and dosing-like psycho hormone, which I want nothing to do with.”
“So I went and saw Dr. White, (USA Fibroid Centers) talked about embolization, and he said that that would be a viable thing for me. So while surgery removes everything completely, uterine fibroid embolization, which I never knew was an option, cuts off the blood supply to the good old fibroid, and therefore it shrivels and shrinks. And then you can get your life back with way less downtime and without the crazy hormones and just in and out.”
The realty TV star described getting a second opinion at USA Fibroid Centers:
“Dr. White was incredible with explaining and answering every single question I had. So, anybody out there that needs extra help or questions when it comes to their body, talk to Dr. White. Incredible experience.”
Second Opinions Matter
Dr. White, part of a national team of fibroid specialists at USA Fibroid Centers, explained why getting a second opinion is important before deciding on treatment.
At USA Fibroid Centers, the fibroid specialists are interventional radiologists who specialize in treating uterine fibroids and adenomyosis through nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedures and imaging.
A treatment plan can be made once the fibroids have been diagnosed and the fibroids have been characterized with either an ultrasound and/or an MRI. A small fibroid may not cause enough symptoms to benefit from treatment; however, patients with large or many fibroids typically find relief.
UFE is a minimally invasive image-guided procedure that shrinks fibroids by blocking their blood supply. Unlike traditional surgery, UFE preserves the uterus and fertility, making it a desirable option for many women. UFE treatment is an ideal option for women who suffer from fibroids but don’t want to undergo major surgery with a long recovery time. It offers alternatives over a hysterectomy for women who wish to get pregnant in the future. After UFE, your fibroids will shrink, and your toughest symptoms — from heavy menstruation to chronic abdominal pain — can disappear.
In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a variety of techniques to operate with less damage to the body than with open surgery. In general, minimally invasive surgery is associated with less pain, and fewer complications. Because it’s done in an outpatient setting, the patient returns to her home, not spending the night in a hospital.
Why Fibroid Size Matters
It’s important to note that the size alone does not always correlate directly with the severity of symptoms. Small fibroids may cause significant issues depending on their location, while some large to medium-sized fibroids can impact surrounding organs by causing an expanded abdominal area that mirrors pregnancy, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, or constipation.
“To any women out there, if you are dealing with fibroids and think that surgery is your only option, please look into uterine fibroid embolization and Dr. White at USA Fibroid Centers.” – Cara Maria Sorbello.
Learn if UFE is Right For You
Find out if UFE is right for you. If you have uterine fibroids and feel like the symptoms are taking over your life, it may be time to look into treatment.
You may have been told that surgery is your only option, but this is rarely true. Book a consultation at USA Fibroid Centers. Schedule online or call 855.615.2555 to talk with a patient care specialist.