By Dr. Nikhil D Datar,Gynaecology
Uterine fibroids are a common occurrence. They are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years. the chance that a fibroid will be cancerous growth is very small. Thus firboids can be described as benign lumps growing on the uterus walls.
Common symptoms associated with uterine fibroids include:
- Heavy menstruation
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Painful intercourse
- An increased urge to urinate
- Backache or leg pains
In many cases, no treatment is required. In such cases, regular monitoring is advised to track the growth of the fibroid. In other cases, treatment can take the form of hormone therapy or surgery.
Surgery is advised only in cases where the fibroids cause serious problems. There are a number of surgical techniques that may be used to treat uterine fibroids. The ideal surgery for a patient depends on a number of factors including the size and location of fibroids and whether the woman wants to have children after the surgery or not.
If the woman does not wish to have menstruation or child bearing the doctor may advise having a hysterectomy. This involves removing the uterus completely. This procedure may be prescribed through open surgery or minimally invasive surgery depending on the size of the growth. this surgery can be done vaginally or laparoscopically. The biggest advantage of undergoing a hysterectomy is that since the uterus is not there the chance of new fibroids developing into it is zero.
In some cases, small fibroids, the surgeon may advise removing them through an incision in the abdomen. This procedure is known as a myomectomy. A myomectomy may be performed by keyhole surgery if the fibroids are small in size and few in number. It may also be performed through robotic keyhole surgery. The surgery is considered safe. If fibroids are pressing into the womb cavity, they may be treated with a transcervical fibroid resection. This involves removing the fibroids through the cervix with the help of a special operating telescope.
Patients who do not wish to undergo surgery to treat uterine fibroids may be prescribed hormone therapy or uterine artery embolization. Hormone therapy involves taking regular doses of certain hormones to help the fibroids shrink. It can also help reduce bleeding and treat anemia resulting from excessive blood loss.
Uterine artery embolization involves injecting microscopic particles into the blood vessels connected to the fibroids. This keeps the fibroids from growing and helps them shrink.