What Do Uterine Fibroids Look Like?

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that affect millions of women across the globe and are the number one reason why women undergo hysterectomy. Unfortunately, we still do not fully understand what causes these tumors to grow in and around a woman’s uterus. Research has provided us with information regarding factors that contribute to their growth.

We get many questions and requests for pictures of uterine fibroids each day, such as “What do fibroids look like when they come out?” and “Can fibroids give you a big belly?” Today we will provide some uterine fibroid pictures to give you an idea of what they look like and how large they can actually grow.

Uterine Fibroids Treated With UFE

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that can eliminate symptoms caused by fibroids. It can address fibroids of any size or in any location, even if they are deeply embedded into the walls of the uterus. UFE allows women to completely avoid surgical options: myomectomy and hysterectomy.

Compared to surgery, UFE is

  • safer,
  • less invasive,
  • less expensive,
  • shorter recovery, and
  • allows women to keep their uterus and even have children after.

Fibroids Uterus: Before And After Pictures With MRI

Look at the comparison of these two pictures below of a patient who had UFE to treat fibroid tumors and her results only three months later.

When you compare these before and after UFE pictures of uterine fibroids you can see the dramatic difference. What you can’t see in these pictures is the complete transformation of this woman’s life! She passed out at work due to anemia caused by heavy bleeding from fibroids. She had periods that were so painful that she didn’t leave the house. She had UFE with Dr. John Lipman at Atlanta Fibroid Center and now has shorter and lighter menstrual cycles, and no pain or heavy bleeding. Also after only 3 months, her fibroids are barely visible.

Above are 2 pictures of pre-UFE and 2 pictures of 6 months post-UFE in a woman with symptomatic fibroids who was told a hysterectomy was her only option. UFE literally transformed her life and as she proclaimed, “I’m a new woman!”

Comparison of Uterus With Fibroids and Without

Let’s take a look at what a normal uterus looks like on MRI compared to one with fibroids. UFE is effective in the treatment of patients with fibroids, adenomyosis, or both.


Uterine Fibroids Pictures In Ultrasound

Based on a woman’s symptoms, the diagnosis of fibroids can be delayed. For example, if the woman’s chief complaint is lower back/buttock pain that radiates down one or both legs, this will often lead to an evaluation of the patient’s lower back. However, fibroids can also cause this same exact pain by pressing pelvic nerves just like a herniated disc in the lower back.

Ultrasound is often used as confirmation of the presence of fibroids following a physical exam that suggests fibroids. However, ultrasound has a relatively low resolution compared to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While this is not an issue in most cases, sometimes the enlarged uterus and presumption of fibroids is given as the patient’s diagnosis when it is due to a completely different medical condition that can cause similar symptoms to fibroids. This condition is called adenomyosis and is when the lining cells penetrate into the underlying uterine muscle. Adenomyosis is very similar to endometriosis and can be thought of as endometriosis that is confined to the uterus. This diagnosis is often missed on pelvic ultrasound but is easily seen on an MRI exam.

For those of you who asked, “Can uterine fibroids be seen on ultrasound?” most OB-GYN offices use ultrasound images to confirm their presumption of fibroids based on the patient’s history and physical examination findings. The two images below show different views of the same patient with fibroids; however, the image on the right with the far superior image quality was done using an MRI.

In the left image, the fibroid is the oval black area being measured by the white calipers (i.e. dotted plus sign and x). In the right image, the location and size of the fibroid are much clearer, and there is significantly more detail of the surrounding tissues next to the uterus. This is very valuable in evaluating not only the uterus but ovaries as well, which can affect the treatment that is recommended for the patient.

Real Uterine Fibroids Pictures

Photo of Multiple Fibroids Removed During a Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy specimen in a patient who underwent surgery for symptomatic uterine fibroids
A hysterectomy specimen in a patient who underwent surgery for symptomatic uterine fibroids.
Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

If uterine fibroids are left untreated, they can cause significant bleeding and pain. As the uterus grows with these fibroids, it can enlarge a simulate a pregnant uterus. Some of these women’s uterus can grow above the belly button; even to the size of a full-term pregnancy. The picture below was taken intraoperatively during fibroid surgery. The patient’s belly was full of individual fibroids and resembled that of a woman who was pregnant with twins.

Picture of A Rare Giant Fibroid

Intra-operative picture of the uterus delivered through the incision site before the removal of the fibroid masses
A 31-year-old woman had a fibroid removed that weighed over 35 pounds.
Source: openi.nlm.nih.gov

A laparoscopic myomectomy was about to be performed on this patient, and you can clearly see the outline of multiple large fibroids from outside her uterus. You can also see that there is a rather large vessel present. Fibroid patients that undergo surgery often bleed a lot during surgery and can require a blood transfusion. UFE is also a treatment option for these patients and there is never a need for a blood transfusion.

Picture Of Uterine Fibroids From Laparoscopic View

Multiple fibroids before devascularisation
A uterus full of fibroids. Note again the numerous vessels present which can make surgery more complicated. Source: openi.nlm.nih.gov

Fibroid Belly Pictures Before And After

In some cases, larger fibroids or a cluster of fibroids can fill up the uterus and lead to a noticeable increase in abdominal size, which may resemble a pregnancy. The graphic below will give you an idea of how eliminating fibroids can make a big difference.

Enlarged belly due to fibroids

When you look at this fibroid belly picture, you can see the woman on the left appears to be about 5 to 6 months pregnant. The distention of her abdomen actually results from untreated fibroids that have grown large or numerous in her uterus and are causing her belly to protrude.

After UFE, fibroids shrink and die. The uterus will revert back to normal size and will no longer cause the abdomen to protrude. Women have reported losing their fibroid belly as quickly as one-month post-UFE.

If you are concerned about changes in your abdominal appearance or suspect you may have fibroids, it is recommended you make an appointment with your doctor to identify the cause and find out if UFE would be right for you.

Get Read of All Fibroids – Contact the Nation’s Leading UFE Experts

If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, before making a decision regarding your treatment, please contact The Atlanta Fibroid Center. Dr. John Lipman has over 30 years of experience treating women with fibroids and adenomyosis and is a leading expert on the UFE procedure.

The professionals at The Atlanta Fibroid Center have your best interest in mind and want to help you avoid surgery and prevent you from losing your uterus. With the increasing number of links found in recent research tying the uterus to women’s health conditions, it is important to weigh your options carefully.

Did you know that every year, over 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States alone? The vast majority of these uterus removals are unnecessary! If you are suffering from fibroid symptoms, set up a consultation today with the Atlanta Fibroid Center and learn about a safe, non-surgical, outpatient option that can eliminate the symptoms from fibroids while preserving your fertility and the integrity of your uterus.

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