Topics covered in this blog:
- Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment Options
- Surgical Treatment Options
- Which Treatment is Right for Me?
- Benefit of Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Success Rate Of UFE
- UFE vs. Hysterectomy
- Do Fibroids Come Back After Non-Surgical Treatment?
- Schedule Your Uterine Fibroid Embolization Today
Fibroids are a source of pain and discomfort for many women of childbearing age. Although benign, these tumors can cause many challenging symptoms such as painful, prolonged, and heavy menstrual periods, bleeding between periods, frequent urination, pelvic pain or pressure, bloating and constipation or pain during sexual intercourse. Heavy menstrual bleeding can also cause anemia making the patient feel tired and low in energy.
Fibroid treatment without surgery is possible, and USA Fibroid Centers can help you regain control and comfort of your life.
Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatment Options
Several non-surgical treatment options exist for removing fibroids. You’ll want to discuss your options with your doctor to determine your best treatment plan.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization Treatment
At USA Fibroid Centers, our interventional radiologists perform UFE as an outpatient procedure. During this procedure, a tiny image-guided catheter is inserted into the femoral artery, and tiny sand-like particles are infused into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroid tumor, which causes them to shrink or eventually die.
A radiologist may use ultrasound technology to focus ultrasound waves on the area where the fibroid is located. The waves create heat to destroy the tissue. The procedure must be repeated multiple times until the center core is destroyed.
Endometrial ablation is a fibroid treatment without surgery performed under anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in a hospital operating room. Heat is used to destroy the fibroids, most effective for small growths.
Medications may be prescribed for the pain of fibroids and other symptoms. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications can help with cramping and other pain. Birth control pills or other hormonal devices can reduce heavy bleeding and regulate periods. This form of fibroid treatment without surgery is mainly designed to help with symptoms rather than removing the fibroids.
The Acessa procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for fibroids performed in an operating room under anesthesia. Two small incisions are made to allow a camera to find the fibroids. An Acessa handpiece is inserted into an incision that distributes heat to destroy the fibroid tissue, similar to an ablation. The process is repeated for each fibroid.
Surgical Treatment Options
There are many surgical treatment options for fibroids. The most common surgery performed for fibroids is called hysterectomy, during which the uterus is removed. Another treatment is called myomectomy, during which the fibroid tumors are surgically removed. The recovery time and risk factors associated with surgical options are higher, just like any surgery.
A myomectomy is a major surgery to remove fibroids that has some major risks, including excessive blood loss and the increased chance of needing a hysterectomy. Other risks include:
- Blood clots developing
- Complications with pregnancy or childbirth
This procedure doesn’t prevent fibroids from coming back. It can also mean a long hospital stay and extended recovery time.
A hysterectomy is another major surgical procedure. This surgery removes your uterus and possibly your ovaries. It eliminates any chance of getting pregnant or carrying a baby. If the ovaries are removed, you’ll go into menopause. You can also expect vaginal bleeding and discharge for several weeks after the procedure. You may also have changes in bladder and bowel functions.
Which Treatment is Right for Me?
Normally fibroids are detected during a regular pelvic exam. If you have fibroids, your uterus may feel larger or irregularly shaped. But smaller fibroids in the uterus can’t be detected during a routine exam, and your doctor might use ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Once you are diagnosed with painful fibroids, your doctor may discuss different treatment options.
Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure, but you may also want to consider fibroid treatment without surgery, especially if you want to preserve your fertility. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment that can help shrink fibroids while preserving your ability to get pregnant and have a baby.
The Benefit of Uterine Fibroid Embolization
There are several benefits in choosing UFE for treatment. For one thing, it can treat all of your fibroids, regardless of size, while preserving the uterus for future conception. UFE has fewer risks than major surgery because it doesn’t require general anesthesia. Since only a tiny incision is needed, scarring is limited, and recovery is quick.
Success Rate of UFE
Research has shown the success rate for UFE is 95% and a majority of women experience an improved quality of life after a UFE procedure.
UFE vs. Hysterectomy
An important difference between a hysterectomy and UFE is that a hysterectomy is a surgical procedure and UFE is non-surgical. UFE preserves your fertility by keeping your uterus intact while a hysterectomy removes the uterus and eliminates any chance of pregnancy.
With UFE, an overnight stay is not required, whereas a hysterectomy usually requires a few days in the hospital UFE also offers a shorter recovery time, allowing you to return to normal activities within two weeks.
Hysterectomy recovery can take up to eight weeks. The most common side effects of a hysterectomy are vaginal drainage (may occur up to six weeks after surgery) and irritation at the incision sites.
If your ovaries were removed at the time of your hysterectomy, you may experience menopausal symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of libido
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
When comparing UFE and a hysterectomy, it’s important to consider these key differences.
Do Fibroids Come Back After Non-Surgical Treatment?
When UFE is performed, it shuts off the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to die permanently. However, new fibroids can begin to grow with any treatment besides a complete or total hysterectomy.
Schedule Your Uterine Fibroid Embolization Today
If you are suffering from the symptoms of fibroids call (855) 615-2555 to schedule a consultation with our interventional radiologists and find out about fibroid treatment without surgery. Most insurance plans cover treatments at USA Fibroid Centers.
1Uterine fibroids treatment – Focused Ultrasound, Mayo Clinic July 8, 2021 Uterine fibroids treatment: Focused ultrasound – Mayo Clinic
2Medication-related Treatments for Fibroids, NIH, November 11, 2018, Medication-Related Treatments for Fibroids | NICHD – Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (nih.gov)