Fibroids are noncancerous growths found both inside and on the outer surface of the uterus. They can vary in shape, size, number, and location and are seen mostly in women between the ages of 30-40, though they can occur at any age. They can be as small as a seed or grow large enough to be dangerous to the woman’s health.
While fibroids are benign, the symptoms that may result from them aren’t pleasant. These can include: longer and heavier menstrual periods, cramps, anemia, pressure, pain during intercourse, and even more serious issues like miscarriages and infertility. If you do not experience any symptoms, treatment may not be required; however, as with any health issue, fibroids should be carefully monitored.
If you do experience symptoms, there are several treatments to consider before opting for surgery. Keep in mind, though, that while certain treatments may alleviate the symptoms, they will not always eliminate fibroid growth. In these cases, surgery is the only option. No matter which category you fall in, Dr. Ulas Bozdogan, MD, FACOG and the Advanced Endometriosis Center, in both Hackensack, New Jersey and New York City, are here to help guide you through all of your options.
Treatments for fibroids
When you come into our office, Dr. Bozdogan will perform a thorough evaluation, explain what fibroids are, and discuss possible treatment options. His goal is always to keep you informed and knowledgeable about all of your choices. If an ultrasound and lab tests don’t provide enough clear information, he may order an MRI, a Hysterosonography, or a Hysteroscopy.
Remember that medications don’t eliminate fibroids, though they may reduce the size of the fibroids and the associated symptoms. Medication options can include Gn-RH (hormone therapy), oral contraceptives, progestins, or other drugs. If the symptoms persist and/or the fibroids grow, surgery may be the next necessary step.
Types of surgery for fibroids including the da Vinci surgical robot
When Dr. Bozdogan determines that your fibroids require surgery, there are pros and cons that come with every surgical option, and he will always make sure you all of them completely. In extreme cases, traditional surgery may be required. This can include abdominal myomectomy and a hysterectomy.
However, Dr. Bozdogan is an expert in non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures, and one of these options may be right for you. Some can even have you home the same day. These relatively new technologies include:
- MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS)
This is done in an MRI machine, and when the exact location of the fibroid is determined, the doctor sends sound waves into the fibroid to destroy the fibroid tissue.
- Uterine artery embolization
This involves injecting small particles into the arteries of the uterus which will cut off the flow of blood to the fibroids, shrinking them and causing them to die.
- Robot-assisted and minimally-invasive surgery
Robotic surgery provides more precision and control than traditional methods and can be performed through tiny incisions. The da Vinci Surgical System, which was approved in 2000, includes a camera arm that gives the surgeon a high-definition, 3-D view. This greatly improves the accuracy of finding and removing the fibroid, and robotic surgery means less pain, smaller scars, fewer complications, and a faster recovery.
If you suffer from fibroids, we’re here to help. Call us with questions or to request an appointment, or use our online booking tool. We have options that will work for you.