When Should You Consider the Removal of Uterine Fibroids?
3 weeks ago

Uterine fibroids are a prevalent problem among fertile women. They can produce several bleeding and pain-related symptoms, as well as disrupt other parts of a woman's life.

Here’s a brief guide to help you decide whether surgery (and, if so, which operation) is the best option for you.

How Frequent Are Uterine Fibroids?

By age 35, nearly 60% of Afro-Caribbean women have uterine fibroids, which rise to more than 80% by age 50. Caucasian women have an incidence of 40% by age 35 and over 70% by age 50. 

Should All Women Have Their Uterine Fibroids Surgically Removed?

When it comes to removing uterine fibroids, two crucial rules apply:

1) Not every case requires surgical fibroid removal.

2) Women who have a surgical treatment for fibroids typically suffer from one or more of the following:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding;
  • Bleeding between periods;
  • Pain or pressure in the stomach;
  • Urinate frequently;
  • Trouble emptying your bladder.

What Are the Different Types of Fibroid Surgeries?

There are two forms of fibroid surgery: myomectomy and hysteroscopy. Which one a person experiences depends on:

  • The size of the fibroids;
  • The total number of fibroids;
  • Where the fibroids are placed in the uterus;
  • Whether a lady intends to have children in the future.

What Is a Myomectomy?

Myomectomy is a surgical procedure that removes fibroids to reduce bleeding and other symptoms. This procedure is an option if the affected lady intends to have children in the future or if she wants to keep her uterus for other reasons.

Approximately 80% of women who have fibroids surgically removed report alleviation or a reduction in their symptoms. The fibroids will not regrow following surgery, although women may develop new fibroids.

Up to one-third of women will require a repeat procedure within five years of fibroid surgery due to the growth of additional fibroids. The recurrence of fibroids is also determined by the woman's age at the time of surgery. It is more likely in a woman's late twenties than in her late forties.

Depending on the quantity, size, and location of the fibroids, this procedure can be performed using one of three methods.

1. Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is more beneficial for women who have smaller fibroids. This surgery can also remove fibroids that have grown inside the uterus. During the operation, the doctor passes a long, thin telescope with a light through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. The fluid is injected into the uterus to expand it and allow doctors to see the fibroids.

The surgeon then uses a gadget to cut the fibroids. The fibroid parts wash away with the fluid used to fill the uterus. A lady who has a hysteroscopy may be able to return home the same day.

2. Abdominal myomectomy

This operation, also known as a laparotomy, is preferable for large fibroids, but it results in a larger scar than the other two types of myomectomy. The surgeon makes a cut in the abdomen to remove the fibroids. Patients commonly spend two to three days in the hospital following an abdominal myomectomy. A full recovery takes two to six weeks.

3. Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is performed on women who have smaller and fewer fibroids. During laparoscopy, the surgeon makes several small cuts in the abdomen. A telescope is put into one of the apertures, allowing the doctor to see inside the pelvis and around the uterus. An instrument is inserted via the other incision to remove the fibroids. Surgeons may then chop the fibroids into little pieces before removing them. 

What Is a Hysterectomy?

hysterectomy is a procedure that removes a portion or all of the uterus. This treatment may be an option if a woman has many fibroids, they are huge, and/or she does not intend to have children in the future.

The surgeon may leave the ovaries and cervix in place. The woman will continue to make female hormones. Only a hysterectomy can cure uterine fibroids and completely ease their symptoms. However, women will no longer be able to bear children.