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From Co-Founder to Patient: Nehal’s Fibroid Journey

Founded by an expert doctor—and patient.

“My name is Nehal Farouky – I’m the President and Co-Founder of Viva Eve. So when we started Viva Eve, we already knew that we really wanted to have a very warm and empathetic approach to women’s healthcare. But when I had to be the patient, it was a wonderful wonderful way for me to see – what does our patient really go through when they come to us? 

So some of the things that I noticed really changed physically when I had fibroids, was the pain in my legs when I was walking. I used to love walking and I love being active, I love exercising – and all of a sudden I couldn’t walk more than five minutes without having to stop, sit down, lift my legs, wait a while, and then start walking again. And this kept happening over and over again. 

I’d be at the gym working out, which is another activity I love to do regularly, and all of a sudden out of nowhere, I would start bleeding and also just constantly looked six months pregnant. I was constantly bloated because of the fibroids so I always, no matter how much effort I put into looking or feeling a certain way. I didn’t feel good about myself.

So when I discovered I had fibroids, I actually ended up having two fibroids – they were quite small. One of them was in the cavity of the uterus while the other one was somewhere in the uterine wall – like the muscle of the uterus. Immediately I started thinking ‘Okay I have fibroids – it’s okay because we specialize in fibroids, that’s okay, I’m in the right place.’

The three main options I had would have been a hysterectomy, a myomectomy, and of course the UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization), which is nonsurgical. For me, I knew that I would never undergo a major surgery unless it was absolutely necessary, so the choice for me was quite easy. I knew that I was going to do the UFE and I was going to go with that for me. 

The short down time was very appealing – the fact that I would only be out of work, or not be able to be a very present mom, for five days to a week or two weeks at most, was very appealing. And the fact that it wasn’t really a major surgery. i wasn’t removing a body part, I wasn’t, you know, being put under full anesthesia, that for me was a very appealing part of it as well.

There’s two ways to do the Uterine Fibroid Embolization – either they go through the artery that’s in the wrist, or they go through the artery that’s in the groin. For me, I was a candidate to do the wrist, and that’s the one I wanted just because the recovery is a little bit easier in terms of mobility and how you’re able to move. 

The day of the UFE, I went in and you know, they took very good care of me. The anesthesia was, they do kind of like a twilight anesthesia, where you’re not fully under but you’re lightly asleep so you don’t feel or remember anything. I think the whole procedure probably took about half an hour to 45 minutes. I was then wheeled out to Recovery.

I woke up right away. I was recovering and I was sent home within a couple of hours. The next few months were just about seeing all the changes that come after the procedure, and the wonderful changes that come after it. I felt so much better and there was no more uncontrollable, unpredictable bleeding. I was able to work out more and feel better about going out and getting to the gym and walking around. I could walk around again and just everything got better from there – just one thing at a time.

If there are options out there for women to treat fibroids that are not just surgical and they’ve been tried and tested, we will do our best to bring all that in-house. Our goal is that women, when they come to us, are educated about all the options, not just the traditional ones. Then they can sit and make their decision about which one seems to work better for them and their lifestyle. 

No woman should ever come in and feel dismissed, no woman should ever come to us and feel ashamed. We really try to hold their hand throughout the whole journey and make it a very positive comfortable experience with a true, true resolution at the end of it.”

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