Fibroid Removal Surgery
If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, your doctor may recommend the removal of your fibroids. While uterine fibroids are usually non-cancerous, they can cause discomfort and other symptoms that impact your quality of life. Your doctor may refer you to a fibroid specialist who can offer treatment options, including fibroid removal without surgery.
Several options are available for fibroid removal. UFE is a non-surgical treatment option for fibroid that preserves the uterus that is recommended as a treatment option by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Other surgical options include myomectomy and hysterectomy surgery. Both of these surgical options carry risks, which you should be aware of before deciding on a procedure.
Symptoms may or may not accompany fibroids, such as heavy bleeding during periods, severe cramping, and bleeding between periods. You can compare any symptoms you’re experiencing with our list.
A myomectomy is a fibroid surgery that removes the fibroids while keeping the uterus intact. Three types of myomectomy exist as options with various recovery times.
- Open myomectomy: an incision is made in the abdomen to remove the fibroids. This procedure may require up to three days in the hospital.
- Laparoscopic myomectomy: A telescope is inserted into the belly button, with other small incisions often made in the abdomen to remove the fibroids. Many women remain in the hospital overnight with this procedure.
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy: A camera with an attachment is inserted into the vagina to remove fibroids without the need for an incision. Patients often go home the same day with this procedure.
The choice for which procedure will be used depends on the size and location of the fibroids and what the doctor recommends.
A hysterectomy is another surgical procedure for fibroid removal. This surgery includes the removal of the uterus and requires a longer recovery time of up to eight weeks. A partial hysterectomy removes the uterus. A supracervical hysterectomy removes the upper part of the uterus, while a complete hysterectomy also includes removing the ovaries and cervix. Both surgeries result in removing the fibroids, but a complete hysterectomy can bring on menopause.
The doctor may perform a hysterectomy with a cut across the abdomen, through small cuts in the abdomen, or the vagina. In any case, the surgery will require a hospital stay and general anesthesia.
Risks vs Benefits of Fibroid Surgery
When considering the best treatment option for your fibroids, you must consider each procedure’s risks and benefits. The main benefit of fibroid removal surgery is that the fibroids are removed, alleviating the symptoms. An advantage of myomectomy is that it leaves the uterus intact, which means it is still possible to get pregnant.
Risks with a myomectomy can be severe and may include significant blood loss, which may lead to a hysterectomy, and injury to the organs during the procedure. You may have a fever or infection from the wound after the surgery, which can increase the recovery time. Another concern is that scar tissue can cause adhesions along the abdominal cavity, attaching to organs. Pain results and lesions can impact fertility.
With a hysterectomy, you can no longer get pregnant or carry a baby because there is no womb. A hysterectomy can cause damage to nearby organs and blood vessels as well. Wound infections can occur along with a fever. Incontinence can become a problem after a hysterectomy. If the cervix is removed, it no longer supports the bladder and bowel, which can cause them to sink. Some women may notice pressure in the abdomen that they didn’t have before. There is also a greater risk of prolapse, organs moving down to the pelvic floor.
Can Fibroids Come Back After Myomectomy?
Unfortunately, a myomectomy isn’t always a permanent solution for fibroids. Even though the procedure removes current fibroids, new fibroids can grow after you have a myomectomy. When this happens, the doctor may recommend a hysterectomy to prevent future growths.
UFE Can Be a Safer Option
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is safer because it is a non-surgical procedure. Instead of removing the fibroids, the procedure involves stopping blood flow to allow the growths to shrink and die.
A fibroid specialist uses imaging to locate the uterine artery feeding the fibroid. They insert a tiny catheter into the thigh and inject embolic materials into the affected artery to block blood flow. Without the nutrients going to the fibroid, it can shrink over time, alleviating the symptoms you have been experiencing.
UFE is an outpatient procedure with less downtime than fibroid removal. Fibroid removal surgeries can take up to six or eight weeks of recovery compared to UFE, which has a recovery period of one to two weeks.
Schedule a Consultation with USA Fibroid Centers
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids and a doctor has recommended fibroid removal surgery, know that you have options. USA Fibroid Centers offers a minimally invasive treatment, which can relieve the symptoms of fibroids without the risks that come from surgery. Schedule an appointment online or call at 855.615.2555 to visit one of our centers.