Fibroids is a common condition in women. While surgery is the ultimate treatment for the condition, it is still not always necessary to get it done. Most times the fibroids don't even cause noticeable symptoms.
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that can form in the smooth muscle tissues of the uterus. Affecting 3 out of 4 women, fibroids are the most common form of non-cancerous tumors afflicting women during childbearing years. Fibroid tumors often occur in groups without any significant symptoms. However, fibroids can cause pain during sexual intercourse or menstruation and affect urinary tendencies. Although rare, fibroids can also increase the chance of miscarriage, cause bleeding, premature labor, and affect the position of the fetus. Fibroids usually don't require treatment as women do not experience fibroid symptoms. However when fibroids cause pain or excessive bleeding early treatment is required.
Uterine Fibroids - Surgery
The surgical treatment options for fibroids include:
Myomectomy (fibroid removal)
This form of surgery focuses on removing fibroid tumors from the uterus. It may improve the chances of having a baby if the fibroids were inside the uterus and prevented fertilization inside the uterus. However, if the fibroids were in other locations, surgery may not help you with chances of getting pregnant.
Hysterectomy (uterus removal)
This form of surgery focuses on removing the uterus itself and therefore, it is only recommended for women who have no future pregnancy plans. Hysterectomy is the only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of fibroids, however it can improve the quality of life.
Myomectomy or hysterectomy can be done through incisions using laparoscopy through the vagina or through a larger abdominal cut. The method depends on the condition of the patient, including the location of fibroid tumors, the size of the tumors and what type of fibroid is growing in the uterus and whether the patient wants to become pregnant in future.
Is Surgery the only option?
Surgery is a reasonable treatment option when:
- Fibroids cause significant pain or pressure.
- One wishes to get pregnant in the future.
- Heavy uterine bleeding and anemia has continued after several months of therapy with medications.
- Fibroids develop or regrow after menopause.
- Fibroids are causing urinary or bowel problems.
In all these cases, however, surgery may not be required. Even heavy, prolonged, and painful periods caused by uterine fibroids may stop naturally after menopause. If you are nearing menopause and your symptoms are tolerable, consider controlling symptoms with home treatment and medicine until menopause. You can also consider therapy with medication if the symptoms of fibroids are insignificant.
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