Uterine fibroids are a very common tumor that grows from the uterus. Fibroids can be associated with pelvic pain, heavy bleeding, pain with intercourse, and difficulty getting pregnant. Most women will develop some uterine fibroids in their lifetime. They can range from the size of a pea, to a small watermelon. Fortunately, most of these tumors will never cause problems or even be diagnosed. Small fibroids rarely cause problems. However, as their size or numbers increase, symptoms can arise. Uterine fibroids are rarely cancerous. Fast growing fibroids can be a sign of a worrisome abnormality.
Fibroids are easily diagnosed by a pelvic ultrasound. This is a simple and painless procedure performed in our office. Most fibroids do not require any treatment. Once diagnosed we do need to follow their growth. Fibroids grow due to hormone stimulation (especially during pregnancy), and eventually shrink during the time of menopause.
If treatment is needed to control symptoms of pain, heavy bleeding, or infertility, surgical intervention is usually required. There are currently no medications available for long term use to shrink uterine fibroids. Lupron DEPOT® is a medication used to help shrink fibroids before surgery. Lupron blocks hormones and creates a state of menopause which shrinks the fibroids. Use of this medication is limited to 6 months.
The surgical procedure to remove just the fibroids is called a myomectomy. This procedure preserves the uterus to allow for future children. An alternative procedure would be a hysterectomy. This results in the removal of the uterus and all the fibroids. Usually the ovaries do not need to be removed and therefore no hormones will be needed.
There are many surgical options for the management of uterine fibroids. Here at Woodlands Obgyn Associates, we are experienced in all options for the treatment of uterine fibroids, including the da Vinci Robot. See us to discuss all your options; we’re here to assist you with making a decision that is best for you. Call 281.364.9898 for an appointment, or for more information.
Raj Syal MD