What are Fibroids?
Fibroids are actually benign growths seen in the muscular walls of the uterus. These are also known as fibroleiomyoma, fibromyoma, myoma or uterine leiomyoma. These can occur as singular fibroid growth or as a group of fibroids.
These are benign (non-cancerous) growths often seen developing during child-bearing years. These benign growths seldom become cancerous tumors.
The wall of the uterus is composed of smooth muscular tissue called myometrium. It develops when a single cell starts dividing uncontrollably and forms a hard rubber-like mass different from the uterine wall tissue. These can be seen as either single growths or as multiple and collective growths and can also change in size at times.
It is a commonly seen disorder with an estimated 3 out of 4 women having uterine fibroids at one point in their lives.
What are the Causes of Fibroids?
Fibroid growth is more commonly seen in women who suffer from obesity. These depend on the level of estrogen and progesterone in the body and thus are seen more often during the reproductive years in women.
There are a few other factors that are known to increase the chances of a woman developing fibroids of the uterus:
Fibroid development chances are increased in a woman if the mother also had fibroids of the uterus at some point in life. A Larger amount of fatty acid synthase that causes cytogenetic deviations is found to be the main risk factor.
The fibroids of the uterus are found to be more receptive of estrogen and progesterone than the natural uterine muscles. These are more common during the childbearing years and, especially during the menstrual cycle. The fibroids are known to decrease automatically after a woman reaches menopausal age.
Certain tissue maintaining substances, such as insulin similar growth boosters, are known to increase the chances of uterine fibroids.
What are the Signs And Symptoms of Fibroids?
Smaller sized fibroids are harder to detect as they may not show any visible or detectable symptoms.
The size and location of the fibroid is the main factor for developing of visible symptoms.
The more commonly seen symptoms of uterine fibroids are:
- Heavy bleeding during menstrual periods.
- Abnormally extended menstrual periods.
- Pain in the pelvis.
- Pressure in the pelvic region.
- Frequent urination.
- Pain in the legs and back.
- Difficulty while urinating.
What are the Types of Fibroids?
Fibroids are mainly classified according to the size and location of the fibroid growth in the uterus as well as the number of fibroids that develop.
These are the three types of uterine fibroids:
These growths are seen in the inner cavity of the uterus and are the cause of heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. These can also act as an obstacle for conceiving.
These are the fibroids that are seen growing from the outer uterine walls as extra projections. These are known to put pressure on the bladder resulting in frequent urination and sometimes pain. In case the fibroids grow at the posterior part of the uterus they can press on the rectum which causes a pressured sensation, or, press against your spinal nerves causing backache.
These fibroids are seen growing inside the muscular wall tissues and if they are of a larger size they can deform the natural shape of the uterus and result in a prolonged menstrual period as well as pressure and pain.
What Are The Treatment Methods for Fibroid Growth?
Most fibroids remain benign, if smaller in size, and do not require any treatment as they do not cause any relevant symptoms to develop. Also, fibroids are known to decrease in size after the affected woman has reached the menopause stage.
There are a few different methods of treatment required to treat uterine fibroids, depending on the size, location and number of fibroids affecting the uterus.
These are the different types of treatment methods used to treat uterine fibroids:
A large number of prescription medicines are available today that are helpful in treating smaller sized fibroids in the uterus. These medicines also help control the uncomfortable symptoms that may arise due to the fibroid disorder. Certain medicines are useful in reducing uncomfortable and painful menstrual periods while oral contraceptive medicines help decrease uterine cramps and bleeding.
Some devices are also available that help limits the excessive menstrual blood flow as well as other symptoms, such as ‘levonorgestrel intrauterine devices’.
Some medicines are known to decrease fibroid size as well.
A non-invasive procedure to treat uterine fibroids is known as ‘Uterine Artery Embolization’ (UAE) which works by blocking the blood flow to fibroids so that they can be destroyed. Found to have long-term effectiveness, however, it carries the side effect of risk of miscarriage.
This is done by using a laparoscope (thin surgical tube) which reduces the blood supply to the fibroids through occlusion of the uterine arteries. This non-invasive surgery can be performed by inserting the laparoscope into the vaginal cavity or by making a ‘key-hole’ incision in the groin.
This is the surgical method used when there is a need to remove one or multiple fibroid growths as well as to preserve the fertility and to retain the uterus.
This is done by three different ways:
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy – Also known as ‘transcervical resection’, this surgery is performed by using an endoscope (called a resectoscope) which uses focused high-frequency electric discharge to remove fibroids through the vagina and cervix.
- Laparoscopic myomectomy – This is done through making a ‘key-hole’ incision in the navel region and using a laparoscope with tiny surgical instruments attached to it to remove the fibroids. This method of laparoscopic surgery has been found to be more efficient in faster recovery and lower morbidity rate.
- Laparotomic myomectomy – Also called as an abdominal myomectomy or open myomectomy this is a comparatively more invasive of the three least invasive procedures. It requires the surgeon to make an incision in the wall of the abdomen and remove the fibroids from the uterus.
This is usually the last resort of treatment when all other alternative fibroid removal methods have failed.
This is the preferred option of treatment when the fibroids are smaller in size and are located within the uterus and not within the uterine wall tissues.
This is also another minimally invasive treatment method for uterine fibroids. In this, the fibroid is decreased in size using a fine needle-like device to insert in the fibroid directly through the abdominal wall and heating the fibroid growth with radio-frequency (RF) electrical energy to cause cell necrosis in the fibroid. This is an alternative treatment method to avoid a hysterectomy.
Magnetic Resonance Guided FUS
This is a completely non-invasive method that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided focused ultrasound (FUS) waves to destroy the tissue and remove the fibroid completely.
The type of treatment method to be used to treat uterine fibroids depends upon the number, location and size of the fibroids as well as the patient’s overall health and preferences. The surgeon will perform a detailed analysis and diagnosis of all these factors as well as your general health to suggest the most efficient treatment method.
Why Choose to Get Fibroid Treatment in India?
The huge network of hospitals and clinics in all major cities in India are substantially equipped with comparatively advanced diagnostic and surgical equipment. These hospitals and clinics provide the necessary support and assistance to the most widely known and highly experienced Indian doctors and surgeons who have an extensive training in managing fibroid removal of the uterus. Apart from this, one of the main advantages of, choosing to get uterine fibroid removal in India is the low cost of treatment using the latest medical technology performed by highly experienced medical staff.
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