Learn About Surgery Alternatives for Uterine Fibroids

A Common Problem

Many women develop benign growths in the muscle of the uterus called “fibroid tumors”. Although this condition often remains unnoticed, occasionally fibroids do cause problems. Some women suffering from fibroid tumors experience particularly painful or heavy bleeding during their periods. Fibroid tumors sometimes threaten fertility, also, making it more difficult for a woman to conceive.

Although in former years, few options existed for women suffering from fibroids except surgical removal or even hysterectomy (the physical removal of the uterus), today a number of additional options assist women. Since surgery may leave scars that make it more difficult for a woman to conceive, non-surgical options for treating this condition attract widespread interest. Today, at least three popular non-surgical alternatives exist for addressing fibroid tumors.

Drug Therapy

Some physicians place patients on treatment protocols that rely strongly on drug therapy to alleviate the sometimes painful symptoms of fibroid tumors. Available pharmacological drugs may change as companies develop new products. For example, recently AbbieVie, Inc. gained headlines when the firm conducted testing on an experimental drug to reduce the heavy menstrual bleeding some patients. Your physician can best inform you about the possible drug treatments available in your situation.

Uterine Artery Embolization (“UAE”)

Another relatively non-invasive treatment developed a few years ago, involves inserting a catheter into the femoral artery and guiding it through the body towards the uterine artery. Then a surgeon releases specially designed exceedingly tiny beads to reduce the blood flow to the fibroid tumor. The spheres remain in place permanently. This procedures does not typically produce scar tissue to damages the sensitive uterus, but it does often shrink fibroids in size. Some women who have undergone this technique have subsequently given birth to healthy babies.

Power Morcellation

A more recent invention, approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration in late 2012, involves the use of a medical device inserted through a catheter to the site of the fibroid. The device then employs radio frequency technology to blast tumors into very tiny fragments that will eventually break down in the body naturally. Many women have undergone this procedure in U. S. hospitals successfully since the spring of 2013. However, recently the FDA issued a warning advising against the use of this procedure due to the possibility that the morcellation process could also spread cancerous tissue throughout the uterus if a patient also had an undiagnosed sarcoma (a type of cancerous growth) present in the uterus.

Consulting with a licensed physician remains advisable before undertaking any medical procedures to correct fibroid tumors. Yet non-surgical alternatives now offer a brighter ray of hope to women concerned about alleviating painful mentrual symptoms and conceiving children.