Uterine fibroids, benign tumors that develop in the muscular tissue of the uterus, are a relatively common condition. Between 20-70% of women are affected, and many women experience no symptoms. For some women, however, fibroids can cause pain and other symptoms, such as:
At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada, our providers offer expert diagnosis and treatment of fibroids, including innovative robot-assisted gynecology surgeries. Here’s an overview of some of the treatments for uterine fibroids and how they could be right for you.
It is important to remember that most women with uterine fibroids don’t develop any symptoms. If your provider informs you that you have fibroids, but you aren’t experiencing any problematic symptoms, you don’t need to have treatment.
If you do, however, experience pain, discomfort, or other problematic symptoms, there are many effective treatments that can help, ranging from non-invasive methods to invasive surgeries. Here’s a look:
For mild pain, your provider may recommend pain management with drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If you have heavy bleeding, your provider may recommend an intrauterine device (IUD), hormonal birth control pills, or an iron supplement.
One medication often used to treat fibroids is gonadotropin-releasing hormone agents (GnRHa). GnRHa can help shrink fibroids, but may cause undesirable symptoms such as joint pain, hot flashes, and insomnia.
Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive treatment in which the lining of your uterus is destroyed using laser, wires, electric currents, or other techniques. For women who wish to become pregnant in the future, this procedure is not recommended.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a safe and effective non-surgical fibroid treatment. UFE shrinks fibroids by blocking their blood supply. Your provider puts a tiny catheter in the blood vessel that feeds the fibroid, and releases particles to block blood flow.
Complications from UFE are rare. This therapy works best on fibroids that aren’t very big, and it’s not recommended for women planning to become pregnant.
Myolysis is a minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery. Fibroids are shrunk using a laser, freezing, electricity, or high-frequency ultrasound. This surgery works best for women who have fewer, smaller fibroids and who are not planning to have children in the future.
A myomectomy is a surgical procedure that removes fibroids from your uterus. It leaves the uterus intact and may be recommended for women who wish to become pregnant in the future. Although this procedure is effective at removing fibroids, there is a high rate of recurring fibroids.
A hysterectomy removes your uterus permanently. It stops menstrual bleeding along with other fibroid-related symptoms, however, you cannot have children after. Other side effects may include vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
The Acessa procedure is life-changing for women living with uterine fibroids. It allows your provider at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG to end your fibroid symptoms and still preserve your uterus.
The procedure usually takes 90-120 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The length of the procedure depends on the number of fibroids, and their location and size.
Your provider makes two small incisions. They then use the Acessa ultrasound probe and mapping system to make a precise map of the exact size and location of your fibroids.
Next, they insert the tip of the Acessa handpiece into the fibroid, directing radiofrequency energy into it, destroying it but leaving healthy uterine tissue untouched. The dead fibroid tissue shrinks over time and is absorbed via your body’s natural waste removal processes.
You’ll experience huge relief from problematic symptoms, as your fibroids have been reduced in size. Acessa has a 94% patient satisfaction rate.
Meeting with a fibroid expert, like the team at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG is the best way to learn which treatment is the best for your symptomatic fibroids. We evaluate your symptoms, review your physical health, medical history, and fertility status, conduct a physical exam, and order imaging studies.
With the information gathered from this in mind, our team recommends the right treatment for your needs. It’s vital to consider different factors when choosing a fibroid treatment, such as:
Learn which fibroid treatment is right for you by scheduling an appointment with a provider at Darin Swainston, MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada.