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Treatment options available for treating Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are the most common pelvic tumors in women, occurring in approximately 30% of women over the age of 35. Although fibroids are benign (non-cancerous), they may produce a wide variety of symptoms including excessive bleeding leading to iron deficiency anemia, pain and pressure sensations, and even obstruction of the bowel or urinary tract.
While it is often easier to treat smaller fibroids than larger ones, many of the small fibroids never will need to be treated.

Treatment with medicines

Abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by fibroids may require scraping of the uterine cavity in a procedure known as a D&C. If no malignancy (cancer) is found, this bleeding often can be controlled by hormonal medications. You may be given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), gonadotropin releasing hormone agonists, or RU-486.

Surgery

Surgery options for treatment have both risks and benefits.
Myomectomy is the surgical removal of the fibroids only. This can be accomplished through hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, or, less frequently, an open procedure (an incision in your abdomen). The surgical approach depends on the size and location of your fibroid.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus (and fibroids). It is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the treatment of fibroids and is considered a cure. Depending on the size of the fibroid, hysterectomy can be performed through your vagina or abdomen.
Uterine artery embolization, or clotting of the arterial blood supply to the fibroid, is an innovative approach that has shown promising results. This procedure is done by inserting a catheter (small tube) into an artery of the leg (the femoral artery), using special x-ray video to trace the arterial blood supply to the uterus, then clotting the artery with tiny plastic or gelatin sponge particles the size of grains of sand.
– In a laparotomy, an incision is made in the abdomen to reach the uterus. The advantage of this is that large fibroids can be quickly removed. The surgeon is able to feel the uterus, which is helpful in locating myomas that may be deep in the uterine wall. The disadvantage of a laparotomy is that it requires an abdominal incision.

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