Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the muscle layer of the uterus. Doctors typically take a watch-and-wait approach for treatment unless the tumors are exceptionally large or causing symptoms such as increased pressure in the pelvis, bloating, pain during intercourse or heavy bleeding.
“If the fibroid is large, surgery is usually the best option to solve the problem,” says Ann E. Behrend-Uhls, MD, FACOG, obstetrician and gynecologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Sometimes we perform a myomectomy (removal of the fibroid) if it is in the uterine cavity by using a procedure called a hysteroscopy, during which we insert instruments through the vagina and cervix into the uterus.
“However, for women who have very large fibroids and are past their childbearing years,” Behrend-Uhls continues, “we typically recommend a hysterectomy, or total removal of the uterus. The good news is, both these surgeries have a minimally invasive option.”
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