Any woman who experiences the pain and discomfort associated with uterine fibroids has likely spoken to her doctor or researched online the various treatment options available. For years, the most common surgical method was to remove the uterus by way of a hysterectomy. Thankfully, modern medicine has an alternative called a myomectomy that preserves the uterus and can be just as effective for women who still plan to have children.
What Is A Myomectomy and Is It Right For Me?
A myomectomy is similar to a hysterectomy in that the goal is to remove uterine fibroids, and thus, the complications that arise from them. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop from the muscle tissue of the uterus and are commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35 and until menopause. Fibroids can lead to painful, life-altering symptoms such as:
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Difficulty urinating or urinating too often
- Back or leg pain
- Periods that last longer than a week
Many women may still be wondering, “what is a myomectomy?” Though myomectomy and hysterectomy surgeries are similar, a myomectomy is meant to remove only the symptom-causing fibroids to preserve the uterus. Depending on how many fibroids need to be removed, your doctor will surgically reconstruct the uterus to ensure its viability long term. This is music to the ears of many women who aren’t quite ready to have their entire uterus and, in some cases, fallopian tubes and ovaries, removed by way of a hysterectomy. Obviously, doing so eliminates their ability to have children in the future.
Approximately 30,000 myomectomy surgeries are performed annually, and many patients say they no longer experience fibroid pain and symptoms. The typical recovery time is 2-6 weeks as compared to 6 weeks needed for a hysterectomy.
3 Ways to Perform a Myomectomy
When you opt for a myomectomy, your doctor will take into account the number of uterine fibroids you have, the size of each fibroid, and their location. There are three types of myomectomies:
- Hysteroscopic Myomectomy — This procedure is less invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis. But it is only appropriate for patients whose fibroids are located in the uterine cavity. Fibroids within the uterine wall cannot be removed with a hysteroscopic myomectomy. Your surgeon will use a thin, telescopic tube to access the uterine cavity before lifting the walls of the uterus to shave off the fibroids. The recovery time is about a week.
- Laparoscopic Myomectomy — Only four tiny incisions to the abdominal area are needed to access the uterus, and recovery time is roughly four weeks with minimal scarring. A laparoscopic myomectomy is also limited in that it can only remove certain types of fibroids. Patients who have large fibroids or multiple fibroids that are embedded deep in the uterine wall will not benefit from this procedure.
- Abdominal Myomectomy — This is by far the most invasive of the three myomectomy procedural options and the most common. It requires a long incision in the lower abdominal region and in the area of the uterus where the fibroids are located. Your doctor won’t be as limited with abdominal myomectomies, as they can safely remove deeply embedded fibroids as well as those that are excessively large or in large quantities. Keep in mind that removing these complicated fibroids increases a patient’s recovery time, four to six weeks, though the benefit of keeping the intact uterus remains.
The Good News: A Myomectomy Isn’t Your Only Option
Most women don’t realize that there are less invasive options outside of a hysterectomy or myomectomy. One such option is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), which is safer, non-surgical, and offers a faster recovery time than its predecessors. UFE causes fibroid tumors to shrink and allows a woman to keep her uterus.
Just a few advantages of UFE include:
- No hospital stay; can be performed under local anesthesia
- Needs no incision, making it less invasive than other treatments
- No scarring
- Fibroid symptoms improve dramatically
- Shorter recovery period, only 1 week in most cases
- Avoids side effects of hormone therapies typically used to treat fibroids
Schedule a TeleVisit with Fibroid Institute Dallas to Learn More
Uterine fibroids can cause painful and life-altering symptoms for many women, especially as they get larger and put more pressure on your uterus. While a hysterectomy and myomectomy used to be the best answer to improve a woman’s quality of life, they are no longer the only option on the table. At Fibroid Institute Dallas, we don’t believe you need to decide between suffering in silence and having an invasive surgery. That is why we are dedicated to treating fibroids using Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), the gold standard in non-surgical fibroid treatment.
Do you have questions about your fibroid symptoms or risk for fibroids? Request a free phone consultation with Dr. Suzanne Slonim, voted a top doctor for women in North Texas and the leader in UFE fibroid treatment without surgery. To learn more about the revolutionary, non-surgical, fibroid treatment Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), call the fibroid specialist in Dallas, TX at 214-838-6440.
Fibroid Institute Dallas serves the DFW area including Dallas, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Allen, and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.