Uterine fibroids are benign growths of muscle tissue that can form on the inside or outside of the uterus. Fibroids can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, iron deficiency, pain during sex, low back pain, and enlargement of your lower abdomen.
Other problems uterine fibroids can cause include frequent urination, if they press on your bladder, or a discomfort on your bottom when they press on your rectum. And they can make it harder for you to get pregnant and raise your risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, cesarean section, breech presentation, preterm delivery, and placental abruption, in which your placenta pulls away from your uterus, depriving your baby of oxygen.
If you have uterine fibroids that are causing symptoms, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan here at the Advanced Endometriosis Center in New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey, can help. Read on to learn more about your uterine fibroid treatment options.
Uterine fibroids often shrink after menopause, so if you’re relatively close to menopause, your symptoms don’t bother you too much, and your fibroids aren’t interfering with conception or pregnancy, you may not need to have them removed. Instead, Dr. Bozdogan just keeps a close watch to monitor them for changes.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain, but they don’t shrink or slow down the growth of fibroids.
Hormone therapy can shrink uterine fibroids and help relieve symptoms. These treatments include:
- Progestins from progestin-only birth control pills or hormonal IUDs
- Birth control pills that contain a combination of progestin and estrogen
- Ulipristal acetate, which is the drug used in the “morning-after” pill
GnRH analogues are another hormonal treatment option. These medications inhibit the production of estrogen in your ovaries. They can shrink fibroids or slow slow their growth.
MRI-guided focused ultrasound
This is a noninvasive treatment for uterine fibroids. Using MRI to guide him, Dr. Bozdogan directs a beam of energy through your skin, fat, and abdominal muscles that heats up and destroys the fibroids.
This treatment is safe and effective, reducing fibroids without damaging nearby tissue.
Minimally invasive robotic surgery
When surgery is necessary to remove fibroids, Dr. Bozdogan can often perform robot-assisted surgery using the da VinciⓇ Surgical System. This system allows him to perform a myomectomy to remove fibroids through a few tiny incisions in your abdomen.
The da Vinci system permits Dr. Bozdogan to operate with enhanced dexterity and control. Although he is in 100% control of the surgery at all times, the robotic system, which includes a thin tube with a tiny camera and light, allows his hand movements to be translated into smaller, more precise movements.
Robotic surgery for removing fibroids can result in less pain, less blood loss, less scarring, and faster recuperation time for patients.
When noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments are not an option, Dr. Bozdogan may recommend traditional surgery to remove fibroids. In some cases, patients may require a hysterectomy.
The best treatment for you
If you have symptoms caused by uterine fibroids, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Dr. Bozdogan can review the pros and cons of various treatments and work with you to choose the one that’s best for you. To make an appointment, call one of our offices or use our online booking tool.