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Uterine Fibroids: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Uterine fibroids are firm, compact benign tumors which are made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that originate in the uterus (womb). Sometimes, these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. Although it is not clearly known what causes fibroids, it is believed that each tumor develops from an aberrant muscle cell in the uterus, which multiplies rapidly because of the influence of the hormone estrogen.

Most women with uterine fibroids have no symptoms. But these fibroids can also cause a number of symptoms depending on their size, location within the uterus, and how close they are to adjacent pelvic organs. Symptoms of uterine fibroids may include heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods, pelvic pain due to the pressure caused as the tumor presses on pelvic organs, frequent urination, low back pain, pain during intercourse etc. In most cases, these heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, or the abnormal bleeding between periods, can lead to iron-deficiency or anaemia in women.

After uterine fibroids has been diagnosed properly relating its size, location etc. the patient may receive a combination of treatments. The doctor may prescribe medicines to destroy the fibroids. In case the fibroids are large and multiple, surgeries (myomectomy) may be performed. The doctor may also perform a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) if the condition worsens, or if no other treatments work. Also, a new and completely non-invasive surgical procedure can be performed. This is called forced ultrasound surgery (FUS) where high-energy, high-frequency sound waves are directed at the fibroids to destroy (ablate) them.

How is the treatment done?

Fibroids are not cancerous nor do they interfere with pregnancy. In such instances, women can get along with it without any treatment. They tend to shrink after menopause, when levels of reproductive hormones drop. But, otherwise, in order to treat uterine fibroids, medications are prescribed to regulate the menstrual cycle, treating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure. These medicines like Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists, Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) target the hormones and thus help to shrink the fibroids. Non -steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which may be taken side by along with the other medicines, may be effective in relieving pain related to fibroids.

MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is a noninvasive treatment option for uterine fibroids that preserves the uterus. A high-energy ultrasound transducer detects the precise location of the uterine fibroids and sound waves (sonications) are used to heat and destroy small areas of fibroid tissue. Also, small particles (embolic agents) can be injected into the arteries supplying the uterus. This helps to cut off blood flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink and die. Laparoscopic procedures like myolysis and robotic myomectomy can also be used.

In case of multiple fibroids, very large fibroids or very deep fibroids, the doctor decides to perform surgical operations to remove the uterine fibroids. An open abdominal surgical procedure can help relieve the pain but affect future fertility. Also, hysterectomy can be performed as a permanent procedure. This involves removal of the uterus and ends one’s ability to bear children.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Usually, uterine fibroids do not cause much trouble unless large. A patient should, nonetheless, consult a doctor if she has symptoms of fibroids which include irregular and heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, pelvic or abdominal pain, frequent painful urination, or an inability to control the flow of urine, increasing abdominal girth etc. These symptoms of vaginal bleeding is also associated with dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or chest pain

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Unless women have bothersome or severe symptoms, they do not need to treat uterine fibroids. Doctors examine the changes and size of fibroids when one is pregnant to avoid any complication.

Are there any side effects?

Myomectomy poses a unique set of side effects. Risks may include infection of the pelvic region including uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, scar tissue, injuries to the bladder or bowel. As a result of fibroids, the person might already have lost blood. Surgical operations may cause further complications like blood loss, infertility etc. Also, such operations if carried out callously, can increase the risk factors of having cancer.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After treatment, all patients should follow their health care practitioner's instructions. A health care practitioner or doctor may choose to perform more frequent pelvic exams, such as every six months, to determine whether there has been additional growth of fibroid tissues or other complications.

How long does it take to recover?

Time to recover depends on the size of the fibroids and the procedure of treatment. Medications may take a longer time to gradually cut down on the tissues and fiber growths. Surgical operations also provide variable recovery time. Hysteroscopy is an outpatient procedure and requires from a few days to 2 weeks to recover. Laparoscopy requires 1 to 2 weeks. Laparotomy is a longer procedure and may require 4 to 6 weeks to recover.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Operations for removing uterine fibroids requires a huge amount. On an average, surgical operations cost Rs. 70,000- Rs. 90,000/-.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Use of medications like Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) and others do not guarantee a permanent cure. There may arise issues relating pregnancy or recurrent pregnancy loss related to submucosal fibroids. The only permanent solution for uterine fibroids is undergoing surgical operations. Complete removal of uterus provides permanent relief from extreme symptoms of fibroids but also take away the ability to become pregnant.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Homeopathy is a lot more effective treatment of uterine fibroids. Though slowly, but homeopathy provides the best non surgical treatment for fibroids. The medicines surely retard the growth of fibroids and over a period of time, the fibroids disappear completely. This is a far more effective and the most convenient treatment of fibroids.

There is no specific self-care is available for uterine fibroids. In case of immense pain, women may apply heat to the lower abdomen by using a heating pad or hot water bottle. Doing exercise, which improves blood flow, may also reduce pain. Anemia can be prevented by Increasing the amount of iron in the diet.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Low Price Range:

Rs 2000- Rs 90,000

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Popular Questions & Answers

My wife is having fibroid in her uterus and the doctor suggested ovral l for her. What is the use of this tablet for fibroid? Will it stop or shrink the size of the fibroid?

Ovral - l is an orsl contraceptive pill ,it will preven unwanted pregnancy,will regularize her cycles,if bleeding is excessive will reduce bleeding . But it will have no effect on the size of fibroid

I have dominant follicle in left ovary and submucous fibroid in uterus please give right and proper suggestions. I am 37 years old my family is already completed.

Dominant follicle has no significance. For fibroid- most of the medical problems need personally taking detailed medical history and examination with the need for reports sometimes so meet concerned doctor- gynecologist.

I am 32 year old with intramural fibroid 1.2 cm. Also have pcos. I am trying to conceive. I did pregnancy test on sunday 6 it was faint positive. But then second day bleeding start and its get heavier. I want to ask fibroid could be reason for early miscarriage. Please suggest me further action needed.

1.2 cm intramural fibroid will not cause abortion, but you should get your hysteroscopy done to confirm wether it's an intramural or submucosal fibroid, or is it distorting the endometrial cavity. If it's an submucosal fibroid or a intramural fibr...
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Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours of the womb (uterus). They are also known as myomas. They are growths of smooth muscle and fibrous tissue. The size of fibroids can vary from as small as a pea to that of a melon. At least one in five wo...
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Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding, also known as AUB, is one of the most common causes requiring gynecologic evaluation. Hysteroscopy is a procedure wherein a thin camera called hysteroscope is introduced into the uterus via the vagina and this light help...
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Fibroid - Know The Symptoms
Uterine fibroids are abnormal growth that manifests in the uterus of the woman. Hormones and a family history of the same are the usual causes listed for such a growth. As per many medical reports, about 70 to 80% women over the age of 50 years, e...
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Uterine Fibroids
Namaskar! Me Dr. Poonam Agarwal, senior consultant obstrician and laparoscopic surgeon. Aaj me apko gharbahsay rasoli ke bare me btaungi. Ise fibroids kehte hain. Ye ek tumour hai jo gharbhashay ki diwar me hote hain. Inhe leiomyoma kehte hain. In...
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Management Of Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are frequently found incidentally during a routine pelvic exam. There's no single best approach to uterine fibroid treatment many treatment options exist. If you have symptoms, talk with your doctor about options for symptom relief.
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