1. Different names, but there is only one kind
Diagnosed with uterine fibroids?
You would have heard your doctor refer to them as leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas, or fibromas. However, all are different names for a uterine fibroid, which is a kind of growth occurring on the muscular walls of the uterus.
2. Fibroids have different sizes, shapes, and can exist at various locations in your uterus
Uterine fibroids vary in size from being miniscule (less than a cm) to big masses (more than 15 cm) that may fill the entire abdominal cavity. Sometimes they may grow so large that they alter the size and shape of the uterus.
Most of them grow on the outer part of the uterus wall and are called serosal or subserosal fibroids. When the fibroids attach to the uterus on a stalk- like growth they are called pedunculated and women with a family history of fibroids or while pregnant are found to be more at risk of developing such fibroids.
Submucosal fibroids grow into the uterine cavity, while those that grow within the uterus wall are called intramural.
3. Doctor recommends advanced diagnostic tests to confirm and evaluate the fibroids
Apart from the ultrasound and MRI, there are advanced imaging techniques to carefully evaluate the fibroids. Hysterosonography, hysteroscopy, and hysterosalpingography are few studies which are useful in getting images of the fibroids to carefully examine the uterus walls and assess the fibroids.
4. No one can predict the fibroid growth
Few fibroids grow slowly. Growth of few others are quite rapid. There are some fibroids which remain the same size for many years. Fibroids appearing during pregnancy may disappear afterward, few might shrink on their own.
5. I have uterine fibroids. Can it turn cancerous?
By definition, fibroid tumors are benign (non-cancerous).
A condition called leiomyosarcoma occurs when a smooth muscle tumor is cancerous. However, this occurs only once in every 1,000 smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. This type of cancer is not believed to arise from benign fibroids. Also, having a uterine fibroid neither increases your risk of developing a cancerous growth nor it leads to other uterine cancers.
6. Are medicines effective for fibroid treatment?
Medicines can help control heavy bleeding and relieve pain and other mild symptoms.
Hormone treatments in the form of injections, sprays or implants can shrink your fibroids. However, they may have side effects and relief is only temporary as fibroids often rapidly grow back once the treatment is stopped.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure which gives results that are quite similar to those achieved with complex surgical treatments.
7. If I choose Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), what benefits can I expect?
The goal of UFE procedure is to block the blood supply to the fibroids and thus deprive them of nutrients, which results in shrinkage of the fibroid. The entire procedure is done under local anesthesia.
There are several benefits for the procedure which include:
- Uterus, ovaries, and cervix are preserved which can be an immense relief for those who plan to be pregnant
- No blood loss due to the non-invasive nature
- No noticeable scarring
- Fastest recovery time
- Performed as an outpatient procedure with minimum hospital stay
- Reduced symptoms such as heavy bleeding, and pain
- Improved quality of life
At Avis Vascular Centre, Embolization procedure for fibroids is being done successfully at its ultramodern facility under the guidance of the eminent interventional Radiologist Dr. Rajah Koppala. With many facilities under one roof, the center looks after all aspects of diagnosis and treatment of uterine fibroids.