Uterine fibroids or uterine myomas (short for leiomyoma) are commonly seen in more than 25-30 per cent of women who are in their reproductive age. Most of the time, the terms fibroid and myoma are used interchangeably as per convenience. Since most fibroids do not cause symptoms, they do not require treatment. There are some that may require treatment under the following circumstances:
- Fibroids that cause abnormal bleeding
- Fibroids hindering fertility
- Fibroids large enough to cause pressure on other organs, such as the urinary bladder
- Fibroids growing rapidly
Fibroids are non-cancerous swellings arising from the womb. They occur in about one in four women of reproductive age group. Fibroids are classified depending on their location into:
- Sub-serous (arising from the outer wall of the womb)
- Intra-mural (arising from the wall of the womb)
- Sub-mucous (arising from the inner lining of the womb)
Surgical Treatment Of Fibroids
The conventional surgical treatment for fibroid removal is called myomectomy. This is traditionally done by making a large incision in the abdomen. However advancements in technology have made fibroid removal possible by laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique which involves small (5mm) incisions made in the belly, through which telescope and instruments are introduced and the fibroid is removed. Laparoscopy helps reduce scarring and ensures minimal blood loss
Doctors in Apollo Day Surgery’s gynaecology department have achieved a great feat by performing fibroid removal in a Day Surgery setting. This allows the woman to have surgery and be back at home the same day, in time for dinner!
Removal of Intracavitary or Sub-mucous Fibroids
When fibroids are embedded within the uterine cavity, it is likely to cause abnormal bleeding and cramping. These can be removed using a special kind of hysteroscope, or resectoscope. The resectoscope is a telescope with a built-in loop that can cut through the tissue. This is called hysteroscopic resection of myomas. In skilled hands, most myomas inside the uterus can be removed with hysteroscopic myomectomy.
Non-invasive Treatment For Fibroids
MRI Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
It is the only non-invasive surgical procedure to treat uterine fibroids.
- High frequency ultrasound waves are focused. Upon reaching the focal point, the waves raise the temperature of the fibroid tissue and destroy it.
- Continuous imaging of the target tissue during treatment helps to ensure a positive therapy outcome.
- HIFU is an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to go home the same day.
Minimal access procedure for fibroids helps those women who are infertile and looking for conception. The uterine reconstruction is precise, blood loss minimal and the patient can return to daily activities within a short time-span.