You’re finally at the doctor’s office to undergo a myomectomy – the procedure you’ve waited for so long to have so you can finally live a life without uterine fibroids. But as the doctor begins to list the possible risks for the surgery you’re about to have, your heart sinks. Will these things happen to you?
While a myomectomy is a safe procedure used for the removal of uterine fibroids, there are unique risks involved that may present challenges for some women. While these risks are rare, it is important to be aware of them.
Excessive blood loss
Women with uterine fibroids suffer from various symptoms, the most common of which are severe pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Because of the heavy bleeding, some women also suffer from anemia, or low blood count.
This can mean that these women are at a higher risk for having problems due to blood loss during the operation. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about steps you can take before the procedure to build up your blood count.
Your surgeon will also take extra steps during the surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. This can include injecting medication around the fibroids to stop blood flow or blocking off the uterine arteries.
Adhesions in the uterus or abdomen can result from incisions that are made to remove the fibroids. These are bands of scar tissue that can possibly entangle other organs if they are outside the uterus.
These entanglements can lead to blocked fallopian tubes, trapped loop of intestine, or, in rare cases, light periods and fertility issues. Normally, having a laparoscopic myomectomy lowers the risk of adhesions.
Complications with childbirth
For women who wish to become pregnant after having a myomectomy, there are some risks that may affect the childbirth. If a deep incision was made in the uterine wall, there is a very small chance that the uterus may rupture during childbirth.
If this applies to you, let your doctor know that you’ve had a myomectomy. He or she may recommend a Cesarean section delivery to avoid the possibility of a ruptured uterus.
During a myomectomy, the doctor may, in rare cases, need to remove the whole uterus. This can happen if the bleeding becomes too excessive or if other, more serious abnormalities are found.
There are several steps you can take to avoid the risks associated with a myomectomy:
- Hormonal treatment or iron supplements; both of these can be used to help with anemia and allow you to build up your blood count before the surgery.
- A separate procedure to shrink the fibroids; uterine fibroid embolization can be used to shrink the fibroids prior to having a myomectomy. In some cases, this can allow you to have a laparoscopic myomectomy instead of requiring a large incision.
While there are some risks, a myomectomy is a safe procedure that has few complications in most cases. To find out everything you need to know about having a myomectomy, read The Facts About a Myomectomy.
PLEASE NOTE: The above information should not be construed as providing specific medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand their lives and health. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician.