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Home > Medical Specialties > Minimally Invasive Surgery > Minimally Invasive Surgery > Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

 

What is uterine fibroid?

Fibroid is a non-cancerous growth arising from the muscle wall of the womb. It is one of the most common gynecological conditions and is estimated to be present in about 20-30% of the women.

 

Most fibroids grow within the wall of the uterus. Based on where they grow:

 

  • Submucosal fibroids grow inside the cavity of the womb.
  • Intramural fibroids grow within the wall of the womb.
  • Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus.


Symptoms of uterine fibroid?

Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, there may or may not be any symptoms. 

However, fibroids can cause the following symptoms:

 

  • Heavy bleeding or painful periods
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Feeling "full" in the lower abdomen-sometimes called "pelvic pressure"
  • Frequent urination
  • Lower back pain
  • Difficulty to conceive and repeated miscarriages

 

How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?

Uterine fibroids can be diagnosed by pelvic exam and ultrasound scans.

 

How is uterine fibroid treated

The treatment depends on the women's age, desire for further childbearing, the size of the fibroids, her symptoms and their severity.

 

If a woman has uterine fibroids, but has no symptoms she may not need any treatment. However a regular check-up is required to see if the fibroids have grown. Fibroids are hormone dependant and hence usually decrease in size after menopause.

 

If the fibroid gives rise to mild symptoms of pain, your doctor may suggest pain-relievers.

 

Certain hormonal medications can reduce the bleeding during menses. Other drugs like GnRh-analogues can be used temporarily for symptom relief or to reduce the size of the fibroid before surgery. Mirena coil can be used in some cases to reduce the bleeding during menses.

 

Those fibroids that are giving rise to severe symptoms, are big or growing in size, need to be treated surgically.

 

Surgery involves either removing the fibroids (myomectomy) or the entire womb (hysterectomy). Both procedures can be performed by the laparoscopic approach as well as by the conventional open surgery depending on the size of the fibroid, its location, the doctors' experience and training.

 

Certain other treatments are now being tried, such as uterine artery embolization, which involves cutting off the blood supply of the fibroids under X-ray guidance.

 

What are the treatments for uterine fibroids?

The treatment depends on the women's age, desire for further childbearing, size of the fibroids, her symptoms and the severity.

 

If a woman has uterine fibroids but has not display any symptoms, she may not need any treatment. However a regular check-up is required to monitor the fibroid sizes. Fibroids are hormone-dependant and hence usually decrease in size after menopause.


Certain hormonal medications can reduce the bleeding during menses. Other drugs such as GnRh-analogues can be used temporarily for symptom relief or to reduce the size of the fibroid before surgery. Mirena coil can also be used to reduce bleeding during menses.

 

Fibroids that are giving rise to severe symptoms, are big or growing in size, may need surgical treatment.

 

Surgical methods involve removing the fibroids (myomectomy) or the entire uterus (hysterectomy). Both procedures can be performed by conventional open surgery as well as by laparoscopic surgery; if deemed suitable.

 

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