What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are a type of benign tumor that originates from the muscle of the uterus (the myometrium). They are very common. Statistically, up to 80% of women may develop uterine fibroids.

What symptoms are associated with uterine fibroids?

  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Painful intercourse
  • A feeling of fullness or bloating in the lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain

What causes uterine fibroids?

The exact cause is unknown, but the hormones estrogen and progesterone definitely play a role. Most fibroids happen in people of reproductive age, due to normal hormone function during this time span. Studies show that fibroids tend to grow when hormone levels are higher (like during pregnancy) and shrink when hormone levels are low (like during menopause).

Do I need to have my uterine fibroids removed?

This depends on several factors. Because fibroids are benign, there are many cases in which a fibroid can safely just be monitored. Fibroids can be treated with various techniques such as removal or ablation. Treatment of fibroids would be recommended, for example, if a woman plans to become pregnant, because fibroid tumors can sometimes cause miscarriage or other issues that can complicate a pregnancy. If you are done having children, then treatment of fibroids is recommended if the fibroids are causing you to display any of the above symptoms.

What options do I have to treat fibroids?

Fibroids can be ablated (meaning destroyed by heat, to cause shrinking) or removed completely.
There are 4 options:

  • Sonata Treatment: The Sonata Treatment is an incisionless solution done in an outpatient surgical setting. It has been clinically proven to reduce fibroid symptoms including heavy menstrual bleeding by ablation (shrinking) of the fibroid tumors. This treatment can address a wide range of fibroid types and sizes. Multiple fibroids can be treated during a single procedure.
  • Acessa Procedure: Also known as Laparoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation(Lap-RFA) is a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure that treats uterine fibroids. It uses a thin radiofrequency needle to destroy fibroid tissue by delivering heat directly into the fibroid (ablation). The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves making three small incisions: one in the belly button, one above the bikini line, and one small incision by the bikini line. The procedure also uses a laparoscopic camera and ultrasound to provide a real-time display and evaluate each fibroid. However, Acessa may not be an appropriate option for everyone, depending on the size and location of the fibroid. Learn more about Acessa here.
  • Laparoscopic Myomectomy: This is a surgical procedure in which fibroids are removed by making small incisions in the abdomen to allow the laparoscope and the surgical instruments to be introduced. The fibroids are identified and dissected out of the uterine muscle. The uterus is then repaired with layers of suture to restore normal shape and structure.Laparoscopic myomectomy is a procedure that requires a high level of skill and experience that Dr. Carolyn Roberts, Dr. Lindsay Allen, and Dr. Erica Montes all possess.
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: This option is a minimally invasive surgery to remove the uterus and fibroids in total. It is great for patients who have very large and/or multiple fibroids and who are done having children. It offers the most definitive solution for fibroids.

If you have concerns about fibroids please call us at 480.860.4791, select Option 3 and schedule a consultation or use the form to the right.

Dr. Erica Montes describes what Uterine Fibroids are and how they can be treated using one of two uterine sparing procedures. Watch her video here to learn more.

If you have concerns about fibroids please call us at 480.860.4791 Option 3 to schedule a consultation or use the form below.