Monday, April 29, 2013

Ask Us Anything: What Treatments are Available for Fibroids?

"What treatments are available for fibroids? Would you suggest a hysterectomy for someone approaching 50?"

Dr. Scott Zuccala Responds:

Treatment for fibroids, also referred to as smooth muscle tumors of the uterus or leiomyomas, varies. If they are asymptomatic, no treatment is needed as the risk of becoming malignant is very low.

If a person has symptoms, such as bleeding issues, or compression symptoms, such as pressing on the bladder or impacting urination, then the treatment options vary.

If a person is done with childbearing, then most people will opt for hysterectomy, as it carries less risk than myomectomy (just removeal of the fibroid), in most circumstances. Other options are:
  • Uterine artery embolization – small non-absorbable pellets are injected into the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to "die off"
  • Exablate – using radiofrequency waves to "melt" the fibroid
  • Electromyolysis – laparoscopic approach using electro-cautery to shrink the fibroid
If you are approaching 50 and the fibroid is causing signifigant bleeding or pain and a cause and effect can be established, then hysterectomy would be a reasonable option. Many of theses can be done with a minimally invasive approach with good recovery.

– Dr. Scott Zuccala

Dr. Zuccala is a gynecologic surgeon at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. He practices obstetrics and gynecology, including minimally invasive surgery, and vaginal and pelvic reconstruction for prolapse and urologic incontinence surgery. He was one of the first surgeons in the Buffalo area to perform minimally invasive gynecological surgery for non-cancerous conditions using the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System.

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