Fibroid treatment may include medication or surgery. Your doctor will decide which treatment is right for you based on your symptoms, as well as if you are planning to get pregnant. Medications may help to reduce pain or reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, and there are also medications that can shrink the fibroid or correct anemia. Surgery is one option for women with severe fibroids who don’t want to take medication. Interested readers can find more information about them at Access Vascular Health: Michelle Maneevese, MD
Diagnostic tests may include an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to take pictures of the uterus. The physician can then determine the size and location of the fibroids. Some doctors use pelvic MRIs to diagnose fibroids before surgery. These tests can be useful in pregnant women, and for women who have large fibroids or are nearing menopause.
The number of fibroids in the treated uterus decreased by half or more. This was statistically significant. The patients who underwent surgery reported significantly fewer symptoms. The majority of patients recovered well from the procedure. The procedure typically takes about one to two hours. Most women can return to work within a week.
Patients who are considering surgery for fibroids should discuss the risks of the procedure with their health care provider. While a myomectomy is a standard surgical option, there are also many other options available for patients. Infertility is one of the common side effects of fibroid treatment, and your doctor can discuss this with you.
Other complications of fibroid treatment can include increased bleeding during menstruation and more frequent menstruation. These symptoms may lead to anemia and other problems. Large fibroids may also cause pelvic pressure, pain, and fullness. Moreover, fibroids may make a woman look pregnant.
Uterine fibroids, which are also called myomas or leiomyomas, are benign growths that form in the uterus. They may bulge from the inside or outside of the uterus and are noncancerous. Although they are not cancerous, they can affect the size and shape of the uterus.
A focused ultrasound system, which is FDA-approved, may be an option for treating fibroids. The ExAblate 2000 System, manufactured by InSightec, Ltd., has shown promise as an alternative to surgery for fibroids. In a recent pivotal trial, 192 women with symptomatic uterine fibroids underwent the treatment. Overall, the results of the study showed a 70 percent reduction in symptom severity and a mean reduction in fibroid volume at 6 months. A significant amount of nonenhancing tissue remained within the treated fibroid, suggesting the procedure may be effective for some patients.
Using MRI to guide the procedure, the MRI-guided procedure is an effective and safe alternative for fibroid treatment. While preliminary findings are promising, further studies must be done before we can definitively say that it is a reliable option.