Over one-third of all women are likely to experience uterine fibroids, or myomas, at some time in their lives, though only a few will ever develop noticeable symptoms. When fibroids become a problem, Dr. Mark Jutras and the team at Advanced Reproductive Concepts in Charlotte, North Carolina, offer alternatives to hysterectomy for treating myomas, including minimally invasive approaches that have you back on your feet almost immediately. Call or click today to book an appointment.
Non-cancerous growths that may appear in the uterus at any time during your childbearing years, uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, affect about 35% of all women. In most cases, myomas cause no symptoms and have very little impact on your life. After menopause, myomas typically shrink and pose little risk of complication.
If you’re one of the women affected by fibroids, the symptoms you experience may include:
Though it’s rare, a myoma can outgrow its blood supply and start to die, which can cause severe pain. In the past, hysterectomies were performed routinely for many female issues, of which fibroids were one. This is no longer the case since fibroids can be treated directly.
There are few options for medical therapy, most based on artificially inducing menopause, during which fibroids shrink. This can only be done for a few months before complications begin, but it may be useful to reduce the size of the fibroids prior to surgical removal. Radiology and focused ultrasound are also non-surgical treatment options.
At Advanced Reproductive Concepts, myomectomy is the standard surgical alternative to hysterectomy. Depending on the size and extent of your fibroids, you may be treated laparoscopically or through open surgery, using an incision similar to that used for C-section deliveries. Typically, open surgery is used only for complex cases. Laparoscopic approaches work better when there are fewer, smaller fibroids.
Previous variations on laparoscopic myomectomy carried the risk of complications, however contemporary techniques removed these, and in some cases, minilaparotomy can maximize safety as well as minimize recovery time. Hysteroscopic surgery may also be an option to remove fibroids, where you can return to your regular activities the next day.
Vaginal ultrasound can locate fibroids with great accuracy, and when you have these growths on the inside cavity of your uterus, using a hysteroscope for removal becomes possible. While in some cases, myomas aren’t completely removed with hysteroscopic techniques, they’re usually reduced in size which reduces symptoms. Recovery time from hysteroscopic techniques is as little as one day.