If uterine fibroids are causing you distress and you want to get pregnant in the future, talk to your doctor about the possibility of having a myomectomy.
What is a myomectomy?
A myomectomy is a procedure to remove uterine fibroids. If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and are experiencing symptoms including pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, heavy periods or pressure symptoms, and the need to urinate frequently, your doctor may recommend a myomectomy.
Is myomectomy right for you?
Having a myomectomy will allow your doctor to remove your fibroids while preserving your uterus. Doing so will allow you to retain your ability to get pregnant in the future.
Which type of myomectomy is right for you?
There are 3 main types of myomectomy and your doctor will discuss with you the most suitable of the following types of myomectomy for your condition:
This procedure will see your surgeon make a surgical cut to your lower abdomen to get to the fibroids and remove them. Your surgeon may recommend this procedure if you have large fibroids. Full recovery can take up to 6 weeks.
This procedure is less invasive. Your surgeon will operate to remove the fibroids using a laparoscopic arm inserted through several small incisions on the abdomen. Because the incisions are small, your pain after the surgery will be less than an abdominal myomectomy. This option may be suitable if you have fewer and smaller fibroids. However, this procedure may work for large fibroids too. Full recovery can take between 4 – 6 weeks.
Your surgeon will remove your fibroids through a scope which enters the uterus through your cervix. This surgery may be most suitable if the fibroids are located within the inner lining of the uterus. Recovery takes just a few days.
What are the risks you should be aware of?
Like all surgeries, myomectomy brings with it some risks. While the following complications are rare, any concerns should be discussed with your doctor.
- Risks include infection, perforation of the uterus, bleeding, damage to nearby organs and scar tissue.
- There is also the risk of reoccurrence of new fibroids growing after surgery, especially in younger women. The nearer you are to menopause, the less likely you are to have problems from fibroids again.
- The procedure may also weaken your uterus, which can cause complications as the uterus could rupture. You may need a caesarean section for your next pregnancy. Let your gynaecologist know that you have had a prior myomectomy so that your pregnancy can be managed safely.
How can you prepare for a myomectomy?
- You will need to tell your surgeon what medications you are already taking, including supplements and vitamins. Your surgeon may advise you to stop taking them for a length of time before and after surgery.
- Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours prior to surgery.
- Sometimes your doctor may prescribe medicine to clear your bowels prior to the myomectomy.
If you have uterine fibroids, consult a gynaecologist and discuss the options available and together you’ll be able to make a decision that is most suited for you.
Article reviewed by Dr Natalie Chua, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Parkway East Hospital
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Do I need surgery for uterine fibroids? Retrieved 5/7/20 from https://www.webmd.com/women/uterine-fibroids/surgery-for-uterine-fibroids#1
Myomectomy – Fibroid removal. Retrieved 5/7/20 from https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/m/myomectomy.html
Myomectomy. Retrieved 5/7/20 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/15448-myomectomy