Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that develop in the uterus. Fibroids cause a variety of symptoms including heavy periods, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain, miscarriage, and frequent urination. If the symptoms become severe, surgical treatment may be necessary.
Surgery to treat fibroids includes hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus) and myomectomy (removal of the fibroids only). Hysterectomies are usually performed on women who do not desire any more children, who have multiple fibroids, and who desire definitive therapy. It may be done through an abdominal incision or vaginally.
A myomectomy is a surgical procedure in which the fibroids are removed and the uterus is repaired. The approach for a myomectomy depends on the fibroid’s size and location. If a fibroid is small (less than 3cm) and located within the uterine cavity (submucosal), it can be removed by a vaginal procedure called hysteroscopic resection. For fibroids within the muscular wall of the uterus (intramural) or on the outside of the uterus (subserosal), the procedure is done through an abdominal incision or laparoscopically.
The decision about surgery for fibroids involves many factors. Talk to your doctor about which approach is appropriate for you.