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Uterine Fibroids Center of Excellence

As a Uterine Fibroids Center of Excellence, Dr. Albert Odom prides himself in providing the best in fibroid treatment to patients throughout Columbia, SC.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are a much more common issue than you might think. According to the National Institutes of Health, one study found that between 80 and 90 percent of African American women and 70 percent of Caucasian women will develop fibroids before the age of 50.

Symptoms

Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

The most common symptom for women with fibroid tumors is excessive bleeding while menstruating. Often times, the bleeding is prolonged, causing periods to last longer than normal. This can lead to soiling of clothing and may interfere with everyday activities.

Pelvic Pain & Pressure

Women with fibroids may feel pain in their lower abdomen. As fibroids grow larger, depending on their size and location, they may cause pain by putting pressure on organs. In addition, it could cause swelling that is often mistaken as weight gain or pregnancy.

Loss of Bladder Control

Fibroids can press against the bladder causing frequent urination and even loss of bladder control. Not only can this cause a great deal of pain, it can disrupt your everyday activities. In addition, fibroid growth can place pressure on the bowel, causing constipation and bloating.

What Steps Are Taken To Diagnose Fibroids?

Diagnosis for fibroids begins with Dr. Odom’s review of a woman’s symptoms and medical history, followed by a pelvic exam at our office in Columbia, SC. Other techniques used to confirm a diagnosis can include X-rays, transvaginal ultrasound, an MRI, and hysteroscopy, which utilizes a flexible instrument called a hysteroscope to see inside the uterus.

Uterus with Fibroids

What Are The Treatment For Uterine Fibroids? 

Acessa Procedure

The Accessa Procedure is a safe, effective and minimally invasive Laparoscopic outpatient procedure that shrinks or completely eliminates fibroids of all sizes and locations while keeping a healthy uterus. During the procedure, only two very small (approximately 1/4”) abdominal incisions are needed during the procedure – there is no cutting, suturing or removal of the uterus itself, and women go home the same day.

The Accessa Procedure has a shorter recovery time than other treatment options for fibroids. You can return to normal activities and enjoy a greatly improved quality of life, without undergoing a hysterectomy. And, with the Acessa Procedure there is a very low need for further treatment.

Dr. Odom was the first physician to perform the Acessa Procedure in South Carolina. Call (803) 907-7300 to discuss your fibroid treatment options with Dr. Odom today!

Hysteroscopic Myomectomy 

In this procedure a long, thin scope with a light is passed through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. Submucosal or intracavitary fibroids are easily visualized and can be resected or removed using a wire loop or similar device. The hospital stay can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours and recovery time is generally 1-2 days. Generally only fibroids that are small and accessible through the cavity can be treated this way.

Laparoscopic Myomectomy

Two or three small, half-inch incisions are made below the pubic hairline and instruments are passed through these small incisions to perform the surgery. Next, a small scissors-like instrument is used to open the thin covering of the uterus. The uterine fibroid is found underneath this covering, grasped, and freed from its attachments to the normal uterine muscle. After the fibroid is removed from the uterus, it must be brought out of abdominal cavity. The fibroid is cut into small pieces with a special instrument called a morcellator, and the pieces are removed through one of the small incisions. Most women are able to leave the hospital the same day as surgery. Patients can usually walk on the day of surgery, drive in about a week and return to normal activity, work, and exercise within two weeks.

Vaginal Hysterectomy 

The uterus is removed through the vaginal opening. This procedure is most often used in cases of uterine prolapse, or when vaginal repairs are necessary for related conditions. During a vaginal hysterectomy, Dr. Odom detaches the uterus from the ovaries, fallopian tubes and upper vagina, as well as from the blood vessels and connective tissue that support it. The uterus is then removed through the vagina.

Robotic Hysterectomy 

A robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy uses a computer to control the surgical instruments during the surgery. Dr. Odom controls the movements of the computer from a computer station in the operating room. At this point, three or four small incisions will be made near your belly button. Gas may be pumped into your belly to distend it to give Dr. Odom a better view and more room to work. The laparoscope is inserted into your abdomen; while other surgical instruments will be inserted through the other incisions. Dr. Odom will attach the laparoscope and the instruments to the robotic arms of the computer and then move to the control area to remotely control the surgery. Your uterus will be cut into small pieces that can be removed through the small incisions. Depending on the reasons for your hysterectomy, the whole uterus may be removed or just the part above the cervix. The fallopian tubes and ovaries attached to the uterus may also be removed. Most people stay in the hospital for a few days. Complete recovery may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Abdominal Hysterectomy 

The uterus is removed through the abdomen via a surgical incision about six to eight inches long. The main surgical incision can be made either vertically, from the navel down to the pubic bone, or horizontally, along the top of the pubic hairline. After the incision has been made through the layers of skin, muscle, and other tissue, Dr. Odom will inspect the organs and other structures in the abdomen and pelvis. The tissues connecting the uterus to blood vessels and other structures in the pelvis will be carefully cut away. The uterus will be removed, along with any other structures such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix, as required by your situation. Abdominal hysterectomy usually requires a hospital stay of one to two days, but it could be longer. The recovery period is usually about six to eight weeks.

If you are experiencing any uterine fibroid symptoms or would like to discuss treatment options, call (803) 907-7300 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Odom today!