If you’ve been dealing with uterine fibroids for a while, you may have tried many medications, natural remedies, and diet changes. If nothing has worked, you’re probably at the end of your rope. What else is out there?
There are a number of surgical options you can turn to if you have not seen a response to medication. Consult your doctor to decide what will be best for you and how you should prepare.
One of the options available to you is a hysterectomy. This involves the full removal of the uterus, including the fibroids. A hysterectomy may be a good option for you if you are past the childbearing age or don’t plan on having children.
There are two types of hysterectomy: a traditional open surgery or a minimally-invasive procedure, although 65% of them are done as an open surgery, which involves a five to seven inch long incision in the abdomen.
There are several ways the minimally invasive procedures can be done, but not every woman is a candidate. If you’re interested in a hysterectomy, talk to your doctor about what type of surgery may be best for you.
Typically, the recovery time for a hysterectomy can be anywhere from three to six weeks and other side effects may include early menopause, chronic pain, or urinary incontinence.
A myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your uterine fibroids and leave your uterus intact. This is an option for women who want to bear children and keep their uterus.
There are three types of myomectomy: abdominal, laparoscopic, and hysteroscopic. The abdominal myomectomy involves a horizontal or vertical incision in the abdomen, while the laparoscopic consists of a few small incisions around the abdominal cavity. A hysteroscopic myomectomy involves removing the fibroids through the vagina and cervix.
Recovery time for a myomectomy can be anywhere from one to six weeks, depending on the type of procedure you have. You will likely have to avoid certain activities for an amount of time after the surgery, such as excessive exercise or sexual intercourse.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
UFE, or Uterine Fibroid Embolization, is a less-invasive procedure that involves blocking the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink. UFE is a great option for women who want to be back on their feet quickly and want a more comfortable recovery.
UFE is performed by an interventional radiologist, who makes a small incision in the groin area and guides a catheter through the uterine artery, where he or she inserts small embolic materials that block the blood stream. Once the fibroids aren’t receiving the blood they need to grow, they will begin to shrink.
The recovery time for uterine fibroid embolization is about seven to 14 days, after which you will be able to resume normal activities symptom free. Side effects are rare, but could include early menopause or infertility, among others.
To find out more about these procedures, visit our other blog posts: The Facts About a Myomectomy, Hysterectomy: An Infographic, and What Are the Particles Used to Block the Arteries in UFE?
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.