Important Information about Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are common among women of childbearing age. In fact, the Mayo Clinic points out that about as many as 3 out 4 women have these noncancerous growths or tumors lining the walls of their uterus. For most of these women, uterine fibroids—or sometimes simply ‘fibroids—don’t cause too much of a problem. More often than not, fibroids cause little to no symptoms and remain undetected. However, there are also occasions when fibroids can cause some degree of pain or complications for a patient, necessitating a treatment plan.

Fibroids are diagnosed through a pelvic exam or a prenatal ultrasound. The growths detected during these examinations depend in size. Sometimes, fibroids can be as small as seedlings. Other times, the growths can be bulky and cause the uterus to look bloated or distorted. A patient can also be diagnosed with single or multiple growths. Fibroids that are smaller in size will cause very few issues and may be resolved without any surgical operations. However, fibroids that cause symptoms like heavy menstrual bleed, prolonged menstrual periods, pelvic pain or pressure, issues with urination, constipation, and constant back and leg pains will have to be resolved with a hysterectomy or myomectomy.

A hysterectomy refers to a surgical procedure where the uterus or parts of it are removed. This is the best option for patients suffering from large fibroids and prevents them from reoccurring in the future. Since it affects a woman’s ability to bear children, it isn’t the best option for someone who is still looking to have children. For them, there’s a myomectomy where fibroids are removed without disrupting healthy uterine tissues. While it keeps the patient’s uterus intact, it can’t fully prevent fibroids from occurring again.

Both these procedures can be done through laparoscopic methods, which result in a significantly shorter recovery time. Such procedures have typically been done through the use of a medical device called power morcellators. However, as the website of Williams Kherkher points out, there have been several cases showing that the use of these medical devices lead to very significant risks. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a report warning doctors from using morcellators because it could inadvertently cause undiagnosed uterine cancer to spread even further. Thankfully, there are other treatment options available for patients looking for a similarly noninvasive solution. It’s best to consult with your doctor to learn more about these alternative procedures.