What is Fibroid Surgery?
Fibroid surgery is a method of removing fibroids, and two of the most common procedures are myomectomy and hysterectomy. A partial hysterectomy includes removal of the uterus while a total hysterectomy includes removal of the ovaries. During a myomectomy, the fibroids are removed while leaving the uterus intact. However, both of these surgeries come with serious risks for the patient.
Is Fibroid Surgery Dangerous?
Fibroid surgery can impose several severe and life-changing risks, regardless of whether you choose a hysterectomy or myomectomy. Both of these procedures are invasive requiring a hospital stay and a long recovery period. Additionally, hysterectomy results in permanent infertility, since the uterus is removed. In both surgeries, there is the risk of other organs being damaged as well. Fortunately, other options exist for care.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical alternative to a hysterectomy or myomectomy. At USA Fibroid Centers, UFE is performed by our experienced interventional radiologists as an outpatient procedure, requiring no hospital stay or stitches. UFE has a shorter recovery time than surgery, preserves a woman’s fertility, and can alleviate painful fibroid symptoms.
What are the Risks of Fibroid Surgery?
Fibroid surgery may present a range of issues, starting with a longer recovery time and including an increased risk for heart disease, uterine cancer, infertility, and regrowth of fibroids. Before scheduling surgery, you should speak with your doctor about these potential complications.
1. Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Related Conditions
According to a 2018 study published in the journal Menopause, having a hysterectomy is associated with long-term risk of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions, especially when the patient is 35 years old or younger. This risk occurs even when the ovaries are conserved during the hysterectomy.
2. Risk of Spreading Uterine Cancer
One procedure, known as laparoscopic power morcellation, has been linked to the spread of uterine cancer. During this procedure, surgeons use a medical device to break the fibroids into pieces to make removal through the abdomen easier. If any of the growths presumed to be fibroids are cancerous, breaking them up can allow the cancer to spread to the abdomen and pelvis, making it more difficult to treat later.
3. Long Recovery Time
After undergoing a hysterectomy, women may remain in the hospital between two to three days following surgery. Once at home, the recovery time for a hysterectomy is typically between six to eight weeks. During this time, you may be restricted from lifting and exercising for four to six weeks.
4. Inability to Have Children
Patients who choose to have a hysterectomy to remove fibroids will not be able to get pregnant in the future. While a myomectomy leaves the womb intact, the procedure can also cause uterine problems, like uterine infections and scarring, that might affect future pregnancies and overall fertility.
5. Fibroid Regrowth
While a hysterectomy completely removes the risk of fibroid regrowth, women who undergo a myomectomy might again experience fibroid regrowth in the future. Fibroids can regrow if they weren’t completely removed during the procedure.
Other Risks of Getting a Hysterectomy or Myomectomy
There are several potential complications of a hysterectomy or myomectomy:
- Organ damage
- Problems with the bowels or urination
- Painful abdominal scar tissue
- Pelvic pain
- Early menopause symptoms
- Scarring and tissue damage
If you are concerned about any of the above or other fibroid surgery risks, know that you have alternatives. UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that can relieve much of your worry while reducing the symptoms you’ve been dealing with.
Avoiding the Risks of Fibroid Surgery with Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) can help shrink fibroids and alleviate fibroid symptoms. UFE avoids many of the fibroid removal risks because it is non-surgical. This procedure leaves the uterus intact, preserving fertility. There is also a shorter recovery time with no hospital stay, which allows you to get back to your normal life sooner.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers to Avoid Fibroid Surgery
If you want to experience freedom from the painful symptoms of uterine fibroids without dealing with the risks involved with surgery, USA Fibroid Centers is here to help. We will work with you for a solution that allows you to get your life back on track.
We make it easy to get the help you need with telemedicine appointments or in-person visits. Schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 855.615.2555.