Uterine Fibroid Removal – Surgery Isn’t Your Only Option
When you first find out you have fibroids, uterine fibroid removal surgery is often the only option presented for dealing with painful symptoms. However, you should know about a minimally invasive fibroid treatment that relieves symptoms and shrinks your fibroids without surgery.
While fibroid uterus surgery is a good fit for some conditions, it’s not right for everyone.
If you’re concerned about the side effects and long recovery involved with a hysterectomy or myomectomy, consider uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a proven, non-surgical treatment that can shrink your fibroids, eliminate painful symptoms, and help you take back control of your health.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our interventional radiologists specialize in FDA-approved uterine fibroid embolization. We’ve treated thousands of women at our outpatient medical clinics over the past two decades and are dedicated to helping women receive the care they need to feel better.
Schedule an appointment today so you can speak with a fibroid specialist at a clinic near you.
Why You Might Benefit from Uterine Fibroid Removal
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that form in the uterus or on the uterine walls. They’re very common, affecting up to 80 percent of women in the United States at some point in their lives.
Doctors may recommend fibroid removal, either through fibroid surgery or another FDA-approved treatment, if symptoms interfere with your daily life or ability to conceive.
If left untreated, fibroids can become larger, so it’s important to be monitored by your doctor, even if your fibroids aren’t causing symptoms. Fibroids can present a risk of complications during pregnancy, such as miscarriage, preterm birth, or postpartum hemorrhage.
A fibroid specialist can help you get rid of fibroids. With treatment, you can move beyond painful fibroid symptoms.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
Some women may experience uncomfortable or painful symptoms from fibroids, while others may not even know they have fibroids until a doctor or gynecologist discovers them.
Some of the common symptoms of fibroids include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Stomach cramps
- Back pain
- Pelvic pain
- Frequent urination
- Painful sex
How Are Fibroids Removed
A doctor can remove fibroids surgically, either by removing the uterus (a hysterectomy) or by surgically removing the fibroids themselves (a myomectomy). But these procedures can have severe side effects, including loss of fertility and potential damage to other vital organs.
Minimally invasive methods, on the other hand, can shrink fibroids until they die off, alleviating painful symptoms without the associated risks of surgery.
A Non-Surgical Alternative to Surgery for Fibroids in the Uterus: UFE
Uterine fibroid embolization is an FDA-approved procedure for uterine fibroids. It’s recognized as safe and effective by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). For up to 92% of patients, UFE is effective at alleviating fibroid-related symptoms.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we have an even higher success rate—99% of our patients describe relief from symptoms and a better quality of life after this outpatient procedure.
How Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Works
During UFE, a fibroid specialist, an interventional radiologist, inserts a tiny catheter into your numbed upper thigh or wrist, then injects particles into the arteries that supply blood to the uterus. These particles stop blood flow to your fibroids, causing them to shrink and eventually die.
What Are the Benefits of UFE?
UFE involves less pain, fewer risks than surgery for fibroid removal, and a higher patient satisfaction rate than other fibroid removal options.
UFE is a less invasive way to get rid of fibroids and doesn’t involve the risks that come with surgery. An interventional radiologist can also treat multiple fibroids at once with UFE because it works by starving all existing fibroids of oxygenated blood.
Here are some of the benefits of choosing outpatient uterine fibroid removal at USA Fibroid Centers:
- Painful fibroid symptoms, including heavy periods, are relieved.
- Successful pregnancy is possible after UFE because the uterus is left intact.
- There’s no need to remove your uterus or cut away any uterine tissue.
- There’s no hospital stay—you’ll go home the same day as your procedure.
- Recovery is faster. You should be back to resuming normal activities and feel better within one to two weeks.
Many women are unaware that they’re good candidates for UFE treatment. Discuss your options with a fibroid specialist who can help you make the right decision based on your situation.
Other Alternatives to Uterine Fibroid Removal: Medications for Fibroids
UFE isn’t the only treatment for fibroids that doesn’t involve surgery. Fibroid medications target the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle. These drugs might help alleviate symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pressure around the pelvic area. Some, but not all, help to shrink fibroids as well.
There are some risks to be aware of, however. For example, a class of drugs that works by blocking estrogen and progesterone can lead to hot flashes. Used for too long, they can also cause bone loss.
Oral contraceptives can control some of the symptoms of fibroids, but they don’t help with shrinkage or removal.
Women who prefer not to change their natural hormone production should consider uterine fibroid embolization as a preferable fibroid removal option. UFE can shrink your fibroids without introducing artificial hormones into your body.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization vs. Uterine Fibroid Removal Surgery
Fibroid surgery is a method of removing fibroids, and the two of the most common procedures are myomectomy and hysterectomy. However, both of these surgeries come with serious risks for the patient.
Myomectomy: Surgery for Fibroids in the Uterus
Myomectomy is a surgical procedure for fibroid removal that leaves the uterus intact. When comparing myomectomy vs. UFE, a significant difference is that UFE is less invasive and does not involve surgical incisions, stitches, or scarring. Perhaps most importantly, UFE carries a significantly lower rate of fibroid recurrence than myomectomy.
Hysterectomy: Surgery for Partial or Full Removal of the Uterus
Hysterectomy is often recommended as the only treatment option for a woman with fibroids. This surgery has significant side effects and is rarely necessary to treat fibroids.
Hysterectomy involves removing the uterus (partial) and, in some cases, other reproductive organs (total hysterectomy), resulting in the permanent inability to become pregnant or carry a child. Hysterectomy can also cause the early onset of menopause.
Women wondering how to remove fibroids without surgery should know that UFE involves less pain and fewer risks than surgery. Whether you’ve suffered from fibroids for years or were recently diagnosed, it’s important to explore non-surgical treatment options to relieve your pain and discomfort.
Why Doctors Consider UFE the Gold Standard for Fibroid Removal
Many doctors consider UFE as the gold standard for non-surgical fibroid removal because the treatment is effective and carries less risk, particularly when compared to surgery for fibroids in the uterus.
Surgery has significant risks including infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, and an adverse reaction to general anesthesia. Because there’s an incision, you also may have stitches, scarring, and a lengthy recovery time of six to eight weeks.
On the other hand, UFE is an outpatient procedure that requires only a light sedative. There’s no scarring and no stitches. In fact, you’ll go home usually with nothing more than a band-aid.
Instead of having to take weeks off from work and coping with the pain while you recover, you’ll be able to return to your normal activity level within a week or two. And you won’t lose your ability to have a child.
Most women with fibroids are good candidates for UFE. Be sure to discuss your full range of fibroid removal and treatment options with your fibroid specialist.
Make an appointment with a fibroid specialist at a USA Fibroid Centers clinic near you to learn your options.
Fibroid Removal While Pregnant
Fibroids often become problematic during pregnancy due to an influx of pregnancy hormones that stimulate fibroid growth. As a result, you may develop new fibroids or suffer from additional and more intense symptoms as your fibroids increase in size.
Unfortunately, fibroid treatment of any type during pregnancy is not an option. Instead, most doctors help their patients manage symptoms until after childbirth. This may involve prescribing pregnancy-safe pain medications for pelvic and back pain or recommending lifestyle changes to alleviate symptoms like frequent urination and constipation.
Do Uterine Fibroids Have to Be Removed?
The decision to have fibroids treated or removed should be made only after speaking with a fibroid specialist who can recommend the best treatment for your situation.
While most fibroids are benign, some uterine growths may be cancerous. Fibroid removal may be beneficial even if it isn’t necessary at the time of diagnosis.
Small fibroids can continue to grow and trigger painful symptoms in the future. They may also interfere with fertility, conception, pregnancy, or delivery. Some doctors may recommend medication to manage symptoms rather than opting for invasive surgery.
However, non-surgical methods like uterine fibroid embolization can offer a better option by shrinking fibroids until fibroid size and symptoms are dramatically reduced. At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer UFE as a treatment to alleviate pain and discomfort from uterine fibroids and help you get back to experiencing life to the fullest.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers for Minimally Invasive Uterine Fibroid Removal
If you have fibroids, you don’t have to live without hope. You can experience freedom from fibroid pain and discomfort without undergoing uterine fibroid removal surgery.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we offer UFE, an outpatient treatment for fibroids that can relieve your symptoms with a shorter recovery period than surgery.
To learn more about UFE and how the procedure can help you, schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 855.615.2555.
Fibroid Removal FAQs
When do fibroids need to be removed?
Fibroid removal may become necessary if you experience difficulties with conception or if they are compromising your quality of life. If you suffer from painful or prolonged periods, discomfort during sex, or unexpected weight gain, it may be time to consider your uterine fibroid removal options.
Although fibroid treatment isn’t necessary if you don’t experience any symptoms, they can continue to grow until they create problems. It’s often easier to treat fibroids before they have grown enough to impact other organs.
What is the risk of fibroids returning after uterine fibroid removal?
The risks of fibroids returning vary based on your chosen procedure.
- A total hysterectomy eliminates the risk entirely by removing the uterus and ovaries.
- A partial hysterectomy preserves the ovaries, so the natural hormones that cause fibroids are also preserved. Because some of the uterine tissue also remains, new fibroids may still grow.
- While myomectomy removes and prevents the return of existing fibroids, new fibroids can form.
- UFE leaves the uterus in place, so there is the possibility of a recurrence. However, studies show that women’s fibroids usually do not grow back after they receive this treatment.
Will my stomach be flat after fibroid removal?
In extreme cases, fibroids can cause extreme bloating or make it look like you’re in your second trimester of pregnancy. That’s why some women with very large fibroids, fibroids in certain locations, or a swollen uterus due to fibroids may notice a flatter stomach after treatment.
Does fibroid removal cause weight loss?
While uncommon, some fibroids can grow to weigh up to 20 lbs. Women with significantly large fibroids will experience weight loss after fibroid removal.
How soon can you get pregnant after fibroid removal?
The recommended time between fibroid removal and attempting to conceive varies on a case-by-case basis. Many women are advised to wait three to six months.
Uterine fibroid treatment without surgery allows for a successful pregnancy. As always, discuss your options with your fibroid specialist.
What is the safest way to remove fibroids?
Fibroid surgeries such as hysterectomy and myomectomy tend to involve greater risks than minimally invasive methods like uterine fibroid embolization. UFE is one of the safest ways to get rid of fibroids.
You can also rest assured you’re working with the best interventional radiologists at USA Fibroid Centers.
We have over 40 clinics nationwide, all of which are accredited by the Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAHC). Our interventional radiologists are also highly experienced and experts in non-surgical uterine fibroid removal.
Does fibroid size determine removal?
Women with fibroids of any size may be candidates for UFE. If you wish to avoid hysterectomy and myomectomy, consult a fibroid specialist to discuss how to remove fibroids without surgery.