What surgical procedures can treat fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are non-malignant growths which can develop in the wall of the uterus. There are two types of surgery a patient can undergo in order to treat fibroids: myomectomy and hysterectomy.
Myomectomy is a surgical procedure which involves the ablation of the uterine fibroids, while hysterectomy entails the removal of the uterus in its entirety. Occasionally, hysterectomy may also imply the removal of the fallopian tubes.
Depending on the type and size of the fibroids, the surgeon will recommend one of the following types of myomectomy or hysterectomy:
1. Laparoscopic myomectomy: the fibroids are removed through several small incisions made in the abdomen.
2. Hysteroscopic myomectomy: the surgeon gains access to the fibroids through the vagina and cervix and subsequently removes the growths.
3. Abdominal myomectomy: a vertical or horizontal incision will be made in the pelvic cavity, depending on the location of the fibroids, in order to remove them. This surgical procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia.
4. Total hysterectomy: it involves the removal of both the uterus and cervix.
5. Subtotal hysterectomy: this procedure entails only the removal of the uterus. It also has a series of advantages for the patient, such as a shorter recovery period, a lower risk for subsequent infections and reduced postoperative bleeding.
6. Radical hysterectomy: it involves the removal of the uterus, cervix and ovaries. This surgical procedure is typically resorted to for the treatment of uterine and cervical cancer, as well as for endometriosis.