Fibroid tumors may be uncomfortable, but they are usually benign and can be treated with minimally-invasive procedures.
At the Advanced Women’s Health Institute, we’re committed to providing you with the least-invasive options available, including those designed to treat fibroid tumors. We’ll listen and work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you.
If you need relief from fibroids, schedule an appointment with us today.
Click to watch Dr. Moore discuss fibroids during Fibroid Awareness Month
Fibroid tumors, also called myomas or leiomyomas, are tumors that arise in the muscle wall of the uterus. Fibroids are almost always benign. They are very common, 70-80% of women develop fibroids in their lifetime. The normal uterine muscle tissue looks pink, while most fibroids are white in appearance. They were originally thought to be fibrous tumors until modern medical techniques identified them as muscle tumors.
We do not know why a uterine muscle cell turns into a fibroid tumor, nor do we know why one woman will develop one fibroid and another might have 50. Fibroid growth may be linked to fluctuations in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body. We know that they shrink after menopause, or when medications are given that blow or slow the production of these two hormones. Fibroids are more common in black women than in white, Latina or Asian women.
There are three basic types of fibroids:
By age 40, between 30 and 40% of women will have fibroid tumors. The percentages rise between the ages of 40 and 50. Approximately 50% of women with fibroids will require surgery. Just because a woman has a fibroid does not automatically necessitate an operation.
The American College of OB/GYN (ACOG) recommends treating fibroids as benign. The incidence of cancer in fibroid tumors is 1/1000 cases in premenopausal women. Neither rapid growth nor degeneration has been shown to predict cancer preoperatively. If your fibroids are small and you’ve been experiencing minimal problems, we encourage you to wait before intervening without any worry.
Some of the most common fibroid symptoms we see at the Advanced Women’s Health Institute include:
A pelvic examination alone is not adequate to diagnose fibroids. When the uterus is enlarged fibroids are frequently the cause, but not all uterine enlargement is caused by fibroids. The uterus is not usually enlarged when submucosal fibroids are present. Transvaginal ultrasound is the most cost-effective technique to diagnose fibroids. The american College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states CT- scans or MRI should not be used as the first step for fibroid diagnosis.
Approximately 30-50% of women are likely to develop new fibroids within 5 years of their operation. Some women will have to undergo a second operation. The younger a woman is when diagnosed, the more likely she will require another procedure. Women who have more than 3 fibroids at the time of surgery are more likely to have recurrence than women who have less than 3.
There are several options available depending upon your circumstances, including medications and minimally-invasive surgical procedures. After providing you with an accurate diagnosis, we will discuss the most common options, then the procedure and recovery.