Subserosal Fibroid Treatment

Depending on where they are growing in the uterus, fibroids fall into one of three classifications. Today we are going to learn a bit more about one of these categories, subserosal fibroids, and treatment options that are available. The Atlanta Fibroid Center specializes in safe and effective subserosal fibroid treatment.

Currently, more than 26 million American women are experiencing the growth of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are not normally considered dangerous; however, they can cause some pretty terrible symptoms.

Not every woman with fibroids experiences symptoms, and therefore, some women may not even realize they have them. On the other hand, fibroids can cause very severe issues, including heavy bleeding, pain, pelvic pressure, infertility, anemia, etc., which can interrupt their lives and impact their job and relationships.

What Are Subserosal Fibroids, And Where Do They Grow?

Subserosal fibroids, or myomas, are benign, tumor-like growths that develop within the outside walls of the uterus. They can grow alone or in groups, be directly attached to the uterus, or grow hanging from a stem-like structure. They can be tiny, similar to the size of a sesame seed, or they can grow as large as a pumpkin. Subserosal is the most common type of fibroids experienced by women and can cause symptoms that are associated with other conditions, so they are sometimes tricky to diagnose.

Subserosal fibroids

What Causes Subserosal Fibroids?

Unfortunately, there is no single known cause of subserosal fibroids, but researchers have discovered that certain circumstances can increase a woman’s risk of experiencing them. Elements such as age, family history, excess estrogen exposure, ethnicity, and diet can all contribute to the development of uterine fibroids.

What Types Of Symptoms Do Subserosal Fibroids Cause?

Subserosal myomas can cause common symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding, cramping, bloating, and painful sex and cause your abdomen to feel “full” or “heavy.” They can also create symptoms that cause confusion when doctors attempt to diagnose them.

When a subserosal fibroid grows large enough, it can begin to push on or crowd nearby organs or nerves. A big subserosal fibroid growing on the back side of the uterus can put pressure on nerves, causing pain to shoot down the back of the legs or hit the lower back, initially being misdiagnosed as sciatica. If it is growing near the bladder or bowels, it can sit on top of the bladder, preventing its ability to hold the normal amount of urine and causing the woman to have to run to the toilet frequently. This is especially problematic when it interrupts her sleep patterns at night.

Do Subserosal Fibroids Impact Your Fertility?

Subserosal fibroids do not typically impact fertility, but in rare cases, one that has grown large enough may press on the fallopian tube, preventing conception from taking place.

What Subserosal Fibroid Treatments Are Available?

Unfortunately, fibroids will not go away on their own, and some type of medical intervention will be necessary if they are causing serious symptoms.

Drug Therapy (GnRH)

Experts do not know exactly why fibroids form or foolproof ways to avoid getting them, but they do know that they are sensitive to excess estrogen and will grow larger when exposed. This is the reason that fibroids tend to grow rapidly during the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, many women who didn’t even know they had fibroids discovered them while they were pregnant.

Sometimes, doctors will prescribe hormone treatments that lower the level of estrogen in the body in an effort to reduce the size of the fibroids and alleviate symptoms. These hormone treatments are not meant to be a long-term solution because they can cause serious negative side effects and are expensive. Additionally, once these treatments are stopped, the fibroids will regrow and begin to cause symptoms again.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization in Atlanta, GA

Surgical Subserosal Fibroid Treatments

Normally, women are diagnosed with fibroids by their OB/GYN when they seek treatment for heavy bleeding, prolonged periods, abdominal pain, or other symptoms that relate to their reproductive system. Most OB/GYNs will recommend a myomectomy or a hysterectomy to get rid of fibroids.

Myomectomy
A myomectomy can be done laparoscopically, vaginally, or as open surgery to remove each fibroid, one at a time, from the uterus. It is performed by an OB/gyn under general anesthesia and can take two to three hours, depending on how many fibroids are present and where they are located.

Some issues that are common with a myomectomy are that the surgeon may not be able to access some of the fibroids or may not be able to remove an entire fibroid, leaving some part of it behind. This piece that is left behind can continue to grow and can cause additional issues down the road. Also, removing fibroids from the uterus can leave it weak and compromised. (Think about how Swiss cheese looks.) If that woman ever became pregnant, she would most likely be required to undergo a C-section to eliminate the possibility of uterine rupture.

Hysterectomy
A hysterectomy involves removing the entire uterus from the woman’s body. In the United States alone, almost 600,000 hysterectomies are done each year, and a large percentage of them are related to fibroids.

Research has shown us that for many years, the uterus has been misunderstood and plays a bigger part in keeping a woman healthy than was once believed. After a hysterectomy, a woman is at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, and memory issues, just to name a few.

While a hysterectomy is an effective subserosal fibroid treatment, it has many risks and long-term side effects and should be reserved only for the most necessary cancer treatment.

Subserosal Fibroid Treatment Without Surgery

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) does not require surgery and is a much less invasive option. It does not compromise your uterus or expose you to the risks associated with a hysterectomy or a myomectomy.

It is able to eliminate fibroids from your uterus regardless of where they are located or their size. This means that it can even be used as a large subserosal fibroid treatment.

Women are normally not given this option by their OB/GYN because they are not able to perform it. This procedure needs to be done by an expert interventional radiologist who has extensive experience performing it.

UFE works by cutting off the blood supply that the fibroids need to live and to keep growing larger. These tumors attach themselves to the uterine artery and begin stealing a portion of its blood supply. The interventional radiologist runs a special catheter through the patient’s groin area to access the fibroids and then injects tiny particles into the tiny vessels they are using to steal the blood. Once these areas are blocked, these tumors will shrink and eventually die.

Benefits of UFE

Some of the biggest benefits that UFE has over surgery include:

  • There are no incisions, so it offers a much shorter recovery time;
  • There is no hospital stay required because it is an outpatient procedure;
  • It can treat all the fibroids at the same time, regardless of how deeply embedded or how small or big they are. It is also an effective pedunculated subserosal fibroid treatment;
  • It does not compromise your uterus, remove your fertility, or jeopardize future pregnancies;
  • It is covered by most medical insurance plans.

Where Can I Get The Best Subserosal Fibroid Treatment?

If you have been diagnosed with fibroids and offered only surgery as a viable treatment, you are almost certainly a candidate for uterine fibroid embolization. The Atlanta Fibroid Center can determine if UFE would be a good fit for you and help you choose the best treatment for your circumstances.

The expertly trained interventional radiologists at the Atlanta Fibroid Center have a combined total of over 40 years of experience and are some of the world’s leading experts in performing UFE. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today to find out how you can start living your life fibroid-free!

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