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Uterine fibroids are abnormal muscle growths that are found either inside or outside the uterus. They are not cancerous. They grow either within the muscle wall of the uterus or on theouter surface. As the fibroids grow, they change the shape of the uterus.
Fibroids affect the chances of a woman getting pregnant. With increasing age, the chances of developing uterine fibroids increase. Most patients exhibit mild or no symptoms at all. While some others may experience abdominal pain, bleeding etc.
The growth of fibroids is enhanced by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. During the childbearing years, these hormones are at the highest level. After menopause, when hormone levels decrease, fibroids often shrink or disappear.
Heavy, prolonged, or painful periods
Pain in the lower abdomen or back
Discomfort in the rectum
Doctors usually recommend treatment when the patient experiences the following symptoms :
Anemia because of heavy bleeding
Ongoing low back pain or a feeling of pressure in the lower belly
Trouble getting pregnant
Problems during pregnancy, such as miscarriage or preterm labor
Issues in the urinary tract or bowels
Infection that can arise due to death of a large fibroid’s tissue.
Transabdominal or Transvaginal Ultrasound
Transvaginal Doppler Ultrasound
The surgeon might opt for the any of the following procedures for uterine fibroid removal :
Fibroid embolization : In this procedurea chemical substance called Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is injected into the arteries that feed the fibroid. Once the blood supply to the fibroid is cut off, it usually shrinks.
Uterine Artery Embolization :
Hysterectomy : Hysterectomy is the surgery performed to remove the uterus.
Myomectomy : It is a medical procedure where the fibroids are removed while preserving the uterus.
It can be done laparoscopically or hysteroscopically : This is the best uterine fibroid treatment option for patients with fibroids who wish to have children in the future. It is effective but there are chances of recurrence. The chances of recurrence depend on the age of the patient and the number of fibroids present at the time of myomectomy. Younger the age of the patient and more the number of fibroids, the higher the chances of recurrence.
It usually takes a round a week to two weeks to recover from surgery :
Patients mayexperience tiredness and may require pain medication for a few days.
Some mild to moderate abdominal cramps, mild nausea, slight vaginal bleeding or grayish brown discharge may also be seen in some patients.
Some mayexperience heavier than normal flow during their next few menstrual cycles.
Patients are usually advised to avoid heavy lifting for at least a week.