Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths on the uterine wall. Also known as myomas, these growths can range from the size of an apple seed to a grapefruit.
Many women have uterine fibroids, and they develop most commonly in the 40s and early 50s. In fact, between 20-80% of women develop them before the age of 50. Uterine fibroids can cause a range of symptoms or no symptoms at all.
If you have uterine fibroids that require treatment, the team of health care experts at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton would like to share the following information with you about your treatment options.
Most fibroids cause no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they may include one or more of the following:
- A full feeling in your pelvic area
- Complications during pregnancy and labor, such as a six-times higher risk of needing a cesarean section
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Enlargement of your lower abdomen
- Frequent urination
- Heavy bleeding that can lead to anemia
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sex
- Painful periods
Fortunately, fibroids almost never develop into cancer, and they aren’t linked to an increased risk of uterine cancer.
If your uterine fibroids cause no trouble, you may not need any treatment. And if you’re approaching menopause, you may be able to use a wait-and-see approach, because fibroids usually shrink during menopause.
However, if your uterine fibroids do cause symptoms, treatment offers a range of benefits, such as a reduction of symptoms and a lower risk of pregnancy complications, if you plan to have more children.
If you opt to have treatment for uterine fibroids, your options include the following:
For women with pelvic pain or heavy periods who don’t intend to become pregnant, birth control pills and other forms of hormonal medications can help. And over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce pain.
Women with significant fibroids may consider myomectomy, a surgical procedure that removes fibroids while leaving the uterus in place. This treatment is often the best option for women who want to become pregnant. Myomectomy removes fibroids without damaging the rest of your uterus.
At Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, we perform minimally invasive robot-assisted myomectomy using the da VinciⓇ Surgical System. A surgical robot is an advanced type of medical technology designed to give experienced surgeons far more precision and control than they would otherwise have.
The da Vinci system enables your doctor to remove uterine fibroids with just a few small incisions. Unlike conventional open surgery, which requires a large incision, multiple stitches or staples, and a longer, more painful recovery, robotic surgery offers a faster, easier recovery.
Robotic surgery is a highly advanced procedure that makes use of miniature instruments and high-definition 3D guidance images. The da Vinci robotic system is the most advanced technology of its type.
Women with advanced fibroids may consider having a hysterectomy, a surgical procedure that removes the uterus.
Learn more about fibroid treatment
Our team of experts at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton provides comprehensive fibroid care for patients living in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and the greater New York City area. To learn more, call the office in Princeton, New Jersey, or book your appointment online today.