Historically, fibroids are the most common reason patients undergo a hysterectomy. But with evolving technology and medical knowledge, new, a lot less invasive procedures are available. In our opinion, it would be substandard of care to present the patient with hysterectomy as the sole option for fibroid treatment. We will list here the most common treatments but keep reading further to find out which one is appropriate for your case.
- Medications: Lupron is a medication that interferes with the production of estrogen by the ovaries. It is given by injection. Since fibroids are sensitive to estrogens, Lupron helps keep the fibroids in check. This however comes with two major drawbacks: Lupron if used long term can cause brittle bones (Osteoporosis) and whenever it is stopped, the fibroids will regrow. Birth control pills and IUDs have also been used to control bleeding.
- Hysterectomy: Refers to removal of the uterus through either an abdominal incision, vaginal approach or laparoscopically. The ovaries are often also removed during the procedure.
- Myomectomy: Refers to removal of the most bothersome fibroids only. It is done through either an abdominal incision, laparoscopically or via hysteroscopy.
- Other options such as MRI guided focused ultrasound, laser, radiofrequency, robotics are being done in few centers but have yet to get wide acceptance.
- Uterine artery/fibroid embolization (UFE): Embolization refers to injecting tiny beads into the blood supply to the fibroids. This causes all the tumors present at the time of treatment to shrink, regardless of their size, number or location. Embolization is a pinpoint and proven technique in treating fibroids. It is virtually completely non-invasive, without any serious complications and very favorable outcomes.
It is important to understand that only patient who do have symptoms need to be treated The right treatment is one that is best for you! It is very important to carefully choose a practitioner who is well versed in treating fibroids. The ideal treatment would be one that provides a one stop shop where all your symptoms are addressed, all the fibroids are treated, minimal complications, excellent outcome and cost effective among others. Each case is unique and each patient deserves personalized attention. We will work in concert with your primary care and Gyn doctors to optimize your care.
We encourage you to come see us. We listen to our patients, We work together to come up with the most comprehensive plan tailored to your case. We accompany you through all the steps before, during and aftercare. If you need a different treatment than we provide, we will point you in the right direction.