uterine fibroids, surgery can be used to remove
fibroids only (myomectomy) or to remove the entire uterus (hysterectomy).
Surgery is a reasonable treatment option when:
- Heavy uterine bleeding and/or
anemia has continued after several months of therapy
with birth control hormones and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
- Fibroids grow after
- The uterus is misshapen by
fibroids and you have had repeat
miscarriages or trouble getting pregnant.
- Fibroid pain or pressure affects your quality of
- You have urinary or bowel problems (from a fibroid pressing
on your bladder,
ureter, or bowel).
- There is a possibility
that cancer is present.
- Fibroids are a possible cause of your
trouble getting pregnant.
Surgical treatment options include:
fibroid removal. This may improve your
chances of having a baby if the fibroid is inside the uterus and prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Removing fibroids in other locations of the uterus may not improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Hysterectomy, or uterus removal. This is only
recommended for women who have no future pregnancy plans. Hysterectomy is the
only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of fibroids. It improves quality
of life for many women. But it can also have negative long-term effects. For more information, see the
Myomectomy or hysterectomy can be done through one or
more small incisions using
laparoscopy, through the vagina, or through a larger
abdominal cut (incision). The method depends on your condition, including
where, how big, and what type of fibroid is growing in the uterus and whether
you hope to become pregnant.
- Uterine Fibroids: Should I Have Surgery?
What to think about
If you are hoping for a future
pregnancy, myomectomy is your one surgical option.
Heavy, prolonged, and painful periods caused by uterine fibroids will
stop naturally after you reach
menopause. If you are nearing menopause and your
symptoms are tolerable, consider controlling symptoms with home treatment and
medicine until menopause.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) may also be a
reasonable option for you, although it has some risks.