From buying a new car to getting new glasses, everyone offers options. We love options! A one size fits all solution to any problem seems outdated. The same is true with uterine fibroids and a hysterectomy is not your only option. If you suffer with menstrual pain and heavy bleeding from fibroids, don’t despair.
The Case For A Hysterectomy
Hysterectomies have been a common treatment throughout the decades for many female issues. A woman may still choose that remedy for their fibroids if they don’t plan to have any, or any more, children, are nearing menopause, and are comfortable with having their entire uterus removed.
The result is no more fibroids, no more pain, and they can’t come back. On the downside, it is an invasive surgery, and it normally takes 4 to 6 weeks to recover.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
This procedure is also known as UFE or UAE meaning uterine artery embolization. Its purpose is to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids causing them to die.
Using a catheter, a radiologist inserts embolic agents or small beads into the uterine arteries. These particles block the blood flow to the fibroid(s) causing them to shrink and disappear.
UFE is performed as an outpatient, is minimally invasive, and recovery time is approximately 2 weeks. In addition, the uterus remains intact.
During a myomectomy, fibroids are surgically removed from the uterine lining, and there are several ways to reach the fibroids which you can discuss with your doctor.
Recovery time is 2 to 4 weeks, and this is another optimal choice for women who want to preserve their uterus.
This procedure is different in that it is minimally invasive. The instruments for removing the fibroids are inserted through the vagina along with the hysteroscope camera. After the fibroids are cut out, most women return to normal activities within just a few days.
Acessa, or Laparoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation, is another technique to remove fibroids. This procedure only targets the fibroids and does not affect the uterus. With Lap RFA three small incisions are made in the abdomen and a probe is inserted guided by mapping. Heat is directed to each fibroid to destroy the tissue and cause it to shrink over time, normally within 3 to 6 months.
Radiofrequency ablation is not new and has been used to treat conditions of the liver, bone, and prostate, although treating fibroids is a newer option. This is an outpatient procedure, patients go home the same day, and can return to work within days.
There is no reason to put off talking to Dr. Albert Odom about your fibroids and any symptoms you may have.