14 May, 2019
What is a uterine fibroid, how is it treated and when is surgery recommended?
A uterine fibroid is a benign gynaecological condition in which uterine smooth muscle tissue (myometrium) forms “balls” in the uterus. It is the most common benign tumour in humans and the most common pelvic growth in women of reproductive age. It is also one of the most common gynaecological conditions.
“Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumour in women of reproductive age and represent one of the most common gynaecological conditions”
Dra. Meritxell Gracia
UTERINE FIBROID SYMPTOMS
Most fibroids are asymptomatic and are detected by chance during a gynaecological consultation. Symptoms may arise in 25-50% of cases, in the form of bleeding, pain, compression and fertility problems.
The main uterine fibroid symptoms are:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding consisting of changes in the amount and duration of bleeding, which may be associated with anaemia
- Abdominal pressure – discomfort: compression of neighbouring organs resulting in urinary and/or bowel problems
- Reproductive problems principally associated with submucosal fibroids
TREATMENT OF UTERINE FIBROIDS
There are two forms of uterine fibroid treatment: medical treatment or surgery.
- The medical treatment of uterine fibroids primarily consists of hormonal preparations (oral contraceptives, IUDs, progestin, etc.).
- The level of surgical treatment may vary depending on the involvement and the patient’s future reproductive plans.
- Myomectomy, or removal of the uterine fibroid, will be the treatment of choice for symptomatic women who wish to preserve their uterus on reproductive grounds or owing to personal preferences.
- Hysterectomy, or complete removal of the uterus, will be the option of choice in cases in which women do not wish to preserve their fertility and have been duly informed of the risks, advantages and alternatives.
WHEN IS SURGERY RECOMMENDED?
Uterine fibroid surgery is particularly recommended when the patient exhibits symptoms, if the fibroid causes discomfort or if it is related to the patient’s infertility.
At our centre, we prioritise the use of minimally invasive surgery for the treatment of uterine fibroids. In most cases, and whenever possible, vaginally or laparoscopically. The reason for this approach is that the use of less invasive techniques offers better recovery and a lower rate of complications.
“The surgical treatment of uterine fibroids is indicated when the patient experiences symptoms or discomfort, or if they are related to infertility, always prioritising a minimally invasive approach”
Dra. Blanca Gil