Uterine Fibroid Surgery - Medical Negligence Lawyers
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Uterine Fibroid Surgery - Medical Negligence
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow on or in the uterus. There are external uterine fibroids, fibroids that are in the muscle of the uterus and internal fibroids, in the inner lining of the uterus. Fibroids are also called myomas or leiomyomas. Fibroids tend to occur in women who are in their thirties and forties. Most women do not really know that they’ve got uterine fibroids.
No one knows the exact cause of fibroids; however, it is known that estrogen and progesterone increase the growth of fibroids. When you have the greatest amount of these hormones is when you are most likely to get fibroids. After menopause, you are likely to have the fibroids shrink and sometimes disappear altogether.
Fibroids can have symptoms, depending on their size and location. The main symptoms of uterine fibroids include:
- Periods that are especially heavy with cramps
- Having a full feeling in the pelvic area
- Having pain during sexual intercourse
- Having low back pain
- Having the urge to urinate often
- Anemia from heavy bleeding
- Relative infertility
- An increase in the rate of miscarriage or preterm birth
Uterine fibroids are diagnosed via a pelvic exam or ultrasound. Sometimes a test for anemia can make the doctor suspicions for the possibility of fibroids.
Fibroids are treated with surgery if they are severe. Not all fibroids need to be treated. Pain medication like ibuprofen, naproxen or Tylenol can be used to manage pain. Birth control pills can control the size of the fibroids while decreasing the amount of bleeding when the fibroids are in the uterine lining. Surgery is considered as a last resort measure.
There are two different types of surgeries done in cases of myomas. The first just removes the fibroids and is called a myomectomy/the second removes the uterus completely and is called a hysterectomy.
Surgery is recommended when:
There is extremely heavy vaginal bleeding uncontrolled by birth control or other medical treatment.
The fibroids continue to grow in size following menopause.
Fibroids are painful or interfere with activities of daily living.
Uterus is out of shape and you’ve had infertility or problems with miscarriages.
You have bowel or bladder problems from fibroids pushing on various structures.
Cancer may be part of the fibroid picture.
Fibroids may be interfering with your getting pregnant.
Options for surgery include the following:
- Having a myomectomy. This is surgery that is done if you are still interested in having a baby. It may even improve your chances of a pregnancy that sticks, especially if the fibroid is stuck inside the uterus as opposed to the outside wall of the uterus. Fibroids removed in other areas of the uterus may not affect fertility one way or another.
- Having a hysterectomy which removes the entire uterus. This is recommended only for those women who desire no pregnancy in the future. It is the only treatment for fibroids that guarantees that there is no more fibroids will grow as there will be no more uterine tissue left. It can have side effects of pelvic organ prolapse, which means pelvic organs fall through the vagina.
Either a hysterectomy or a myomectomy can be done laparoscopically. This means that small incisions are made through the abdominal wall or through the vagina; How big the incisions are depends on how big the uterus or myomata are. Big myomata need a bigger incision; the uterus is sometimes passed through the vagina for its removal. Which procedure is done depends on your wishes to get pregnant again.
Both types of procedures carry complications; some are minor and some are life-threatening/ They include the following:
- High fever, which usually comes from infection
- Infections, which are usually bacteria and requiring antibiotics
- Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs which can travel to the lungs
- Hemorrhage, requiring transfusion
- Exacerbation of a heart problem
- Pelvic hematoma
- Breathing problems
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here