Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women made one Austin woman’s dream of being a mom come true.
Natalie Frachtman, who lives in Austin with her husband Brandon, always hoped to become a mother. It was a chapter of life that she looked forward to with great expectation and excitement.
So in the spring of 2021, when a fibroid was discovered in her uterus, she became concerned. Concern turned to worry after an Austin medical team recommended laparoscopic or possibly open surgery to remove the fibroid, a benign tumor of muscular tissues.
“The scariest part of the diagnosis was that I was told an emergency hysterectomy was on the table if they couldn’t get the fibroid out entirely,” Natalie said. “I can’t fully describe how I felt hearing that news. I would be free from the pain and problems the fibroid was causing, but at the expense of becoming a mother. I was scared and sad.”
The thought of not having options for the fibroid removal and the risk of not being able to have children left the newlywed feeling defeated, but also determined to find another way.
Natalie was prompted to reach out to Dr. Michael Belfort, Obstetrician and Gynecologist-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. She knew of his renowned reputation and that of his team.
“When Natalie called and I learned about her case, I had a good feeling that we could help,” Dr. Belfort said. “One of the world’s leading experts in uterine fibroid removals, Dr. Joseph Nassif, is at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, and he is highly trained to care for patients just like Natalie.”
“Our approach to uterine fibroids that lie inside the uterine cavity is to remove them hysteroscopically up to a certain size,” said Dr. Nassif, a gynecology specialist at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. “This means that we perform the surgery by going through the vagina, as opposed to making an incision from outside of the body without having a scar.” He emphasized that this procedure is minimally invasive and while having no guarantees, it certainly improved the odds of Natalie and her husband becoming parents.
“In cases like Natalie’s, this approach eliminates the need to cut the uterine wall to reach the fibroid — like in open or laparoscopic surgery. Instead the fibroid is reached through the cervix and excised,” Dr. Nassif said. “It really is wonderful how Natalie’s story worked out. Within a few months following the surgery, she was pregnant.”
Natalie and Brandon were also elated with the results. Their beautiful daughter is now seven months old and is doing well. “I was diagnosed in the spring of 2021, I underwent the surgery with Dr. Nassif in July of 2021 and within one year, I gave birth to my daughter!” Natalie said. “We were overjoyed.”
The first-time mother continued —“I am grateful for the opportunity to tell our story. If I can help other women who are diagnosed with fibroids to maintain their hope and seek multiple opinions, I want to do that. I am also glad that I was proactive about seeking the best care for myself before my fibroids started causing other problems. I think that was key to my outcome, and I want to encourage other women to be proactive about their reproductive health as well. Whether the goal is motherhood or great health for ourselves, we are worth having the best physicians and the best treatment.”
Dr. Nassif sees patients at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women Gynecology Clinic in The Woodlands. His office can be reached at (832) 826-7500.
“I am so excited that Texas Children’s is building a hospital in Austin.
I will be there as soon as it opens!”
- Natalie Frachtman
In February 2024, Texas Children’s Hospital North Austin Campus will open. It will be a state-of-the-art, $485 million, top-tier hospital for children and women led by the finest pediatric and women’s specialists in the nation.