Myomectomy: Fixing fibroids and saving fertility
A diagnosis of uterine fibroids is something no woman wants to hear.
While there may be a sense of relief in knowing what has been causing their symptoms, including chronic pelvic pain, fibroids have traditionally required major surgery and a long recovery. There is also concern that fibroids and uterine surgery will interfere with a woman’s fertility.
Fortunately, women now have the option of a minimally invasive myomectomy, which removes the fibroids but leaves the uterus, and chances of a successful pregnancy intact.
It’s often difficult to diagnose fibroids because the symptoms range from mild to severe, with some women having no symptoms at all, only discovering their condition during an exam.
These insidious growths can be found inside the uterus, on the outer surface of the uterus and into the uterine wall. There may only be one or two fibroids, or there may be several fibroids of different types located both inside and outside the uterus.
Fibroids can be tiny and unobtrusive or become very large, causing pain as they pressure other pelvic and abdominal organs. In rare cases they can become large enough to be visible from outside the body, making a woman look as though she is pregnant.
These uterine growths can cause:
- Pressure on the bladder or rectum
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and/or rectal pain
- Difficulty fully emptying bladder
- Lower back and/or abdominal pain
- Leg pain
- Fertility and pregnancy issues
Unusual periods are often one of the first symptoms of uterine fibroids. Fibroids can cause changes such as:
- Period cramping and pain
- Heavier menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual bleeding with blood clots
- Longer or more frequent periods
- Spotting or bleeding between periods
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Who is at the highest risk for fibroids?
- Women between the ages of 30 and 40 are at the greatest risk.
- Fibroids are more common and aggressive in black women, appearing at younger ages.
- Women who have female relatives who have had fibroids
Other possible contributing risk factors include:
- Menstruation beginning at an early age
- Birth control use
- Vitamin D deficiency
- A diet high in red meat
- Alcohol consumption
Is Myomectomy for you?
Because Myomectomy can remove all types of fibroids with minimal impact on the uterus and its function, it is preferred over more drastic options such as a hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus.
There are several myomectomy procedures available. A treatment plan will depend on the size, number and position of the fibroids. Surgical methods include:
- Hysteroscopy – Used for fibroids growing on the inner wall of the uterus without invading the uterine wall.
- Laparoscopy – Best option for smaller fibroids that have grown on the outside of the uterus.
- Laparotomy – Technique used when there are many fibroids, larger fibroids or fibroids that have grown into the uterine wall.
The Coyle Institute offers myomectomy procedures using methods assisted by the da Vinci surgery system. This specific type of laparoscopic myomectomy is minimally invasive, safer, faster, more effective and far more precise with smaller incisions and less damage or risk to the uterus.
The potential benefits as compared to traditional open abdominal surgery include:
- A greater success rate for future pregnancy
- Significantly less pain post-surgery
- Shorter surgery time
- Less blood loss during the procedure
- Fewer complications both during and after surgery
- Less scarring at the incision site
- Shorter recovery time in-hospital
- Quicker recovery and to normal daily activities
Unfortunately, fibroids can be a recurring condition. The only cure is a hysterectomy, but at least women now have treatment options that will allow them to control their fertility before they have to take extreme measure.
There is no need to suffer from the pain, pressure and fear that fibroids bring into your life. And there is a good chance that treatment will preserve and improve your chances of having a family. Call the caring, friendly team of healthcare experts at Coyle Institute today for more information or to schedule a consultation.