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5 surgical treatment options for fibroids

Fibroids are benign tumors that grow on and within the uterus muscle. They are very common with about 70-80% of people having at least one. In a past article, we discussed fibroids but now I think it's important to delve into what the treatment options are.


Pink candy in pink purse

Some fibroids are small and not bothersome. These don’t require any treatment, just close follow up with your gynecologist. Others, however, can become large causing symptoms such as pelvic and abdominal pain, heavy periods, and painful periods. This is when intervention is usually recommended.

There are different ways to manage fibroids but, in this article, I specifically want to discuss the 5 most common surgical treatment options.


Uterine artery embolization (UAE)

This is a minimally invasive procedure actually performed by a radiologist and not your gynecologist. With UAE, small particles are injected into the blood vessels that feed your fibroids blocking off their blood supply. When the blood supply is cut off the fibroids will shrink. There is some discomfort associated with their shrinking and it's not recommended to have a pregnancy after this procedure, but for the right person this can be a great option.


Hysteroscopy

Another way to manage fibroids that are inside the cavity of the uterus is with Hysteroscopy. This is another minimally invasive procedure where your gynecologist looks inside the uterus with a camera and can shave down to remove a fibroid located inside the uterus. This is normally a same day procedure that is very helpful for those with fibroids in this location that are especially causing heavy periods.


Radiofrequency ablation

is another way to manage small to medium sized fibroids in a minimally invasive way. With this one, very small incisions are made in the abdomen and your physician will insert a probe into each fibroid that transmits energy and heat. This causes your fibroids to shrink over a few months.


Myomectomy

Some may opt to remove their fibroids completely while keeping their uterus and that procedure is called a Myomectomy. This can be done in a minimally invasive fashion or as an open procedure that is like a c-section opening. Depends on how big your uterus is, how many fibroids you have and the skill of your surgeon. This procedure removes every fibroid you currently have but new fibroids can grow and appear in the future.


Hysterectomy

Now, a Hysterectomy. This is the “I’m done with my fibroids and my uterus” procedure. It is the biggest of the procedures that takes the whole thing out never to be seen again. With your uterus gone, no more fibroids can appear. You also have no more periods and can’t carry future pregnancies yourself. However, you can keep your ovaries which means no changes in your hormones.


There is no one size fits all. Even your doctor can’t pick for you as each person has different symptoms and a difference in what's important to them. But of course, all procedures, even the minimally invasive ones, have risks so please talk with your doctor about each one before making a decision about the best management option for you.



DISCLAIMER: Features published by Adaaba are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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