A uterine fibroid is a non-cancerous tumor that originates from the smooth muscle layer and the accompanying connective tissue of the uterus. While most fibroids are asymptomatic, they can grow and cause painful, heavy periods, painful intercourse, and bladder problems. Although many women have fibroids, not many require treatment for them. Only when symptoms occur and/or when the fibroids grow to a certain size do patients require treatment.

Medical Treatments Options

Fibroids require estrogen for growth; thus, medical treatment is based on drugs that decrease the production of estrogen by the ovaries, resulting in shrinking the fibroids. These medications can only be used short-term, only cause a temporary decrease in fibroid size, and are not permanent therapy. Some physicians will use such drugs to shrink the fibroids down so that less invasive surgery can be performed to remove them. These drugs are associated with symptoms caused by low estrogen levels, primarily menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

Surgical Treatment Options

Minimally invasive surgical options for fibroids include myomectomy, total laparascopic hysterectomy (TLH), laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH) or total vaginal hysterectomy (TVH). Which treatment is best for the patient depends on the number, size, and location of the fibroids within the uterus, as well as other considerations, including the patient’s desire for future childbearing. The Georgia Advanced Surgery Center performs all of these procedures as same-day, outpatient surgeries that require no unsightly incisions or hospital stays, and provide patients far faster, less painful recovery than traditional surgery.