Dr. Laughlin-Tommaso's primary research interest is uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas or myomas). Fibroids are noncancerous tumors of the uterus that may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, bowel and bladder problems, and interfere with pregnancy or fertility. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of fibroids and the effects of fibroids on heavy menstrual bleeding. She also works on Dr. Elizabeth Stewart's NIH-funded grant comparing the effectiveness of two treatments that offer alternatives to hysterectomy.
Uterine fibroids share common features with cardiovascular disease. Through collaborations with cardiovascular researchers both at Mayo Clinic and nationally, Dr. Laughlin-Tommaso is studying the effects of fibroids and treatments for fibroids on myocardial infarction, stroke and hypertension.
- Understanding risk factors that predispose women to uterine fibroids
- Determining the role of fibroids in cardiovascular disease
- Establishing strategies for the prevention of fibroids and cardiovascular disease
- Participating in clinical trials of fibroids treatments that offer alternatives to hysterectomy (MR-guided focused ultrasound, uterine artery embolization, and myomectomy)
Significance to patient care
The long-term goal of Dr. Laughlin-Tommaso's research is to understand the association of and develop prevention strategies for uterine fibroids and cardiovascular disease.
- Chair, Fibroid Special Interest Group, American Society of Reproductive Medicine