Although the cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, they are the most common noncancerous tumor found in the pelvic area. 1 in 5 women will experience these fibroids at some point within their lifetime and women over the age of 30 are usually the most affected by the disorder. These benign tumors normally appear during childbearing age until menopause. In extreme cases of the condition, uterine fibroids surgery must be performed for treatment.
There are multiple situations where uterine fibroids surgery is the only reasonable and successful treatment. Most urgent is the prospect of cancer among the fibroids or surrounding area and in this instance surgery is a must. Other situations that require surgery include the growth of fibroids after menopause or when the tumors cause extreme pain and pressure which affects the quality of life. Occasionally, the pressure from the growths will cause bowel or urinary problems and must be removed immediately before more serious medical issues arise. Uterine fibroids can also cause a woman’s uterus to become misshapen which will lead to difficulty conceiving or multiple miscarriages. Anemia from heavy bleeding is another serious condition that can be experienced due to fibroids. When hormones or other drugs do not control this bleeding, surgery may be required to correct the problem.
There are two types of uterine fibroids surgery procedures that a patient may undergo. The first of these procedures is known as a myomectomy, or fibroid removal. This is the removal of only the tumors themselves and no other organs or tissues. Myomectomy is the only surgical option that will allow a woman to be free of the fibroids and improve the chances of getting pregnant. This procedure works best for submucosal fibroids that lie just under the uterine lining’s surface. A hysterectomy is the second surgical procedure available for women who are suffering and involves the complete removal of the uterus. This method of treatment is only recommended when all other options have been exhausted and when the woman has no future plans for pregnancy. This type of uterine fibroids surgery is the only treatment that permanently prevents the regrowth of the tumors.
Either of the procedures can be performed through a large cut in the abdomen or less invasively with smaller incisions and laparoscopy through the vagina. The exact process will be determined by a medical professional but will be based on several factors. The condition of the uterus, specific location and type of fibroids, and the woman’s future plans for conception are all things that weigh heavily into the treatment decision.
Like all major operations, undergoing uterine fibroids surgery does come with risks and complications. Short term risks include various infections and potential blood loss. Both surgeries can also cause the development of scar tissue which can lead to infertility, pelvic pain, and other uncomfortable conditions. Although the complications may seem a bit intimidating, surgery is sometimes the best option and can greatly improve the long term health and odds of conception for women who find themselves plagued with the tumors.