Annual checkups with a gynecologist allow for preventive treatment and early detection of health problems. However, there are times when these routine visits are not enough. Certain issues and life changes require a visit to the gynecologist between regular checkups.While waiting until one’s next annual checkup may be okay, scheduling a visit between these appointments…
What Is a Myomectomy and How Does It Treat Uterine Fibroids?
A myomectomy is one of the best solutions to chronic uterine fibroids. Most women may develop uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Uterine fibroids are usually benign, but for many women, they can cause frustrating symptoms. If a woman has fibroids and would like them removed but also wants to preserve the functionality of her uterus, this procedure will be recommended.
What is a myomectomy?
It is the surgical removal of uterine fibroids. There are different approaches to this procedure, but the majority are minimally invasive and help a woman with her ability to retain her fertility.
While considered minimally invasive, a myomectomy is still considered major surgery, so it is important to consult with your doctor about all the potential risks before having the procedure done, as there is always a risk of complications.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths on the outer wall of the tumor, which makes them easier to remove than other benign growths, and they pose less of a risk of damaging the uterus as well. A myomectomy is often referred to as the much more dangerous hysterectomy, which involves the partial or complete removal of the uterus and the loss of a woman’s reproductive capability.
In this case, the benign growths are removed by making a small incision in the lower abdomen, which provides access to the outer wall of the uterus. The surgeon is then able to remove the growths from the uterine wall with minimal damage before closing up the wound on the uterus and stitching the abdomen. While a woman can retain her reproductive capability after a myomectomy, it largely depends on the age and health of the woman, as well as the number of fibroids that need to be removed.
Overall the procedure is considered highly safe and with low risk for complications. During a standard procedure with a healthy patient, recovery typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. There should be some pain and weakness initially that may require pain medication for the first week or so.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are growths in the uterus that are not cancerous but can cause lower back discomfort, prolonged and heavy periods and pelvic discomfort. Many women do not experience symptoms.
Some women may develop iron deficiency anemia from the heavy and prolonged menstruation.
Fibroids are most common among women of childbearing age. In some cases, depending on the size and location within the uterus, uterine fibroids can make it hard for a woman to conceive.
What are the other treatment options for uterine fibroids?
Traditionally, if a woman experienced persistent uterine fibroids, she would just have her uterus removed to eliminate symptoms. The problem with this option is that is completely ruins any chances of getting pregnant. For some women that is not a problem, but for others, being infertile is not a chance they want to take. Unless growths in the uterus are cancerous, a myomectomy is recommended instead of the removal of the entire uterus. It is a less invasive procedure, and if a woman were to change her mind about wanting children, it could still be possible to conceive.
Can uterine fibroids come back after surgery?
Unfortunately, uterine fibroids do have the ability to grow back. The younger a woman is, the more likely she is to experience fibroids again at some point in her life. Since many women undergo this procedure to remove uterine fibroids in order to have children, many of them are young enough to have reoccurring fibroids later in life. A laparoscopic procedure can be performed more than once as needed in a lifetime because it is minimally invasive compared to an abdominal procedure.
What is the difference between a laparoscopic and abdominal procedure?
Laparoscopic procedures are less invasive than abdominal procedures. Both types of procedures require the patient to be sedated, but during a laparoscopic procedure, smaller and fewer incisions are made. A tiny lighted camera is placed through one small incision to guide the physician’s hands from a monitor as they insert surgical instruments through the other small incisions.
An abdominal, or open, procedure requires one long incision that will take longer to heal and leave a more noticeable scar. If possible, it is recommended that a laparoscopic procedure be performed, but in some cases, it may be necessary to switch to an abdominal procedure during the surgery if the fibroids cannot be reached.
Call us to learn more about your options
If you are suffering from uterine fibroids and the symptoms associated with them, do not wait to visit our office. This procedure can remove the fibroids and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. To learn more about whether a myomectomy might be right for you, schedule an appointment with our office today.
Request an appointment in our Fresno office here: https://fresnoobgyn.com.
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