Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Slonim.
Suzanne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Both my parents are doctors, and I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was 5 years old. It’s not that I didn’t have a choice. My big brother avoided medicine and became an electrical engineer. But I always loved the idea of helping people when they were sick.
I left Miami to go to college in North Carolina at Duke. Then I went to medical school in Washington DC, at George Washington University. From there I went to Los Angeles to do my internship in Internal Medicine. I traveled back to the east coast for my Radiology residency in Boston at the Lahey Clinic. My last year of training was back on the west coast at Stanford University.
When I was in medical school, I was planning to be a surgeon. Then I heard about Interventional Radiology, a field that did minimally invasive surgery with imaging guidance. I realized it was the way of the future and took that path. I’ve been an Interventional Radiologist for 22 years now, and I love it. We do procedures like cardiologists do in the heart, with balloons and stents, but we work in all the other blood vessels, and we use the same catheter based techniques in all the other organs. After my Interventional Radiology training at Stanford, I stayed there on staff for five more years.
When I decided to leave my academic career at Stanford in 2000, I came to Dallas to practice with a group at Methodist Hospital in South Dallas. It’s a great facility and provided me the opportunity to do my specialty full time rather than having to also read x-rays, ultrasounds, CT’s and MRI’s. All I did all day long was procedures on patients at the hospital who needed my help. I loved it.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to make another change. The doctors at Precision Vascular & Interventional in North Dallas invited me to join them. They had started a unique practice where they do Interventional Radiology procedures in their office instead of a hospital. They’ve established all the protocols and gotten all the equipment they need to make it completely safe.
Now when someone who’s not in the hospital needs an Interventional Radiology procedure (like opening up blocked blood vessels in the legs), they can go to the Precision office instead of a hospital. It’s a much more comfortable environment for people, and it runs much more efficiently.
Anyway, the doctors at Precision invited me to join them and build the type of practice I feel most passionate about. So I took them up on their offer, and I built Fibroid Free.
Fibroid Free is a practice that focuses entirely on treating uterine fibroids without surgery. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors in the uterus that affect up to 80% of women, especially African American women. They cause symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure, urinary frequency, constipation, and pain during intercourse.
Most women are told they need a hysterectomy for fibroids. But there are other options that don’t require surgery. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) involves feeding a tiny tube through the blood vessels to the fibroids and blocking their blood supply from the inside. This causes the fibroids to die and shrink, and it resolves their symptoms. Now I focus almost all my attention on treating women’s fibroids with UFE.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been blessed to have a lot of opportunities – and a high level of determination. The hard times along the way have always seemed like part of the process, necessary to build toughness and the ability to make decisions under any circumstances. I guess that’s part of the culture of medical training.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fibroid Free – what should we know?
Fibroid Free is a medical practice that focuses entirely on treating women’s fibroids without surgery. We specialize in Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). The fibroids are treated by blocking their blood flow through the blood vessels. The procedure is usually done in our office.
Women go home the same day and have a much easier recovery period than after surgery. Most women are able to go back to work in one week.
Part of our mission is to educate women that hysterectomy is not their only option. A lot of women don’t want to have a hysterectomy. For some of them, it’s just that they don’t want any surgery. For others, they don’t want to lose their uterus. We have community outreach events where we invite women who have fibroids to a party with other women who have had the UFE procedure. It gives them an opportunity to ask questions and hear personal stories of other women who have been through the same situation. It helps put women at ease. Many of my patients have volunteered to speak to women who are considering UFE but still have questions. I’m very proud that I’m building a community of women helping women.
What sets Fibroid Free apart from other practices is our vast experience and personal service. I did my first UFE procedure in 1997, and I’ve been doing them ever since.
Everyone in the office is attuned to the issues women with fibroids are facing. I think I’m known for providing very personalized care. All of my patients have my cell phone number. I treat each patient like she’s my sister.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Technical skill, compassion, integrity.
- Address: 12400 Coit Road, Suite 505
Dallas, TX 75251
- Website: FibroidFree.com
- Phone: 214-382-3200
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: fibroidfreecom
- Twitter: FibroidFreeCom