Every year, hundreds of thousands of women in the United States have a hysterectomy, a serious operation to remove their uterus, after which they can no longer have children. It is the second most common surgery performed in the US which is rather surprising, as half of the population (i.e. men) doesn’t have a uterus to remove. A hysterectomy is performed in a hospital with an associated hospital stay. There are numerous surgical risks (most commonly intraoperative bleeding requiring transfusion, nicking vital structures [exs. bladder, bowel, ureter], infections, surgical adhesions, and wound issues). Even if there are no significant surgical complications there is a long recovery and the woman will often struggle to deal with the loss of her uterus. Many Gynecologists and other health care professionals believe that the vast majority of hysterectomies are completely unnecessary; particularly when there is an outstanding, non-surgical, outpatient option Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) which allows women to get the relief they’re looking for without losing their uterus.
The most common reason why a woman undergoes hysterectomy is for uterine fibroids which are benign tumors. If a patient has uterine cancer, a hysterectomy is appropriate but fibroids are not cancer and they do not turn into cancer.
How does one know if she has fibroids? Fibroids are the most common cause of abnormally heavy periods. They also frequently cause pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, bloating, increased urinary frequency, painful intercourse, and even constipation.
An Unnecessary Hysterectomy Can Be Avoided
Most women who’ve had a hysterectomy for fibroids did not even know that they had other options.
Medical therapies for fibroids are not very good. One of the best options to treat symptomatic fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization or UFE. This minimally invasive procedure is much safer than surgery and is performed as an outpatient, and may even be done in the office setting. The procedure treats all of the fibroids at the same time which means that the patient typically only needs the procedure once. This is compared to surgical myomectomy which has a much higher rate of recurrence as the surgeon can’t typically remove all of the fibroids. The fibroids that remain after a myomectomy will grow, and the patient will likely need another procedure; often within 5 years.
Any woman with symptomatic fibroids can have embolization regardless of the size or the number of the fibroids. If you’re suffering from fibroids and have been told you need a hysterectomy, get a second opinion from the Atlanta Fibroid Center. We’re world-renowned experts in the nonsurgical treatment of uterine fibroids. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of UFE, contact Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online at www.ATLii.com.