At the Atlantic Fibroid Center at Overlook Medical Center, women have access to the most advanced diagnostic testing and treatment options available to treat fibroids.
What are uterine fibroids?
Fibroids are noncancerous growths within the wall of the uterus. Most women will develop fibroids by the age of 50. Fibroids are genetic – if you have fibroids, you will often find that your female relatives have them too.
Symptoms of fibroids may include:
Most women with fibroids will not have any symptoms and will not usually require treatment. When symptoms do occur, they are varied, but can include:
- Heavy or prolonged periods
- Anemia-induced fatigue
- Pelvic or lower back pain
- Frequent urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Severe cramps or pelvic pressure
How are fibroids diagnosed?
Based on your symptoms, your physician may suspect that you have uterine fibroids. The first test is usually a pelvic ultrasound. In certain cases, your physician may request an MRI of the pelvis, which will provide a much more details examination of your uterus and other pelvic organs.
When should fibroids be treated? How are they treated?
Women with symptomatic fibroids can first be treated with medications, including birth control pills or other hormonal therapies. If medications do not work, or if the symptoms are severe, the next step is usually a procedure or surgery. These include uterine fibroid embolization, myomectomy, and hysterectomy.
What is uterine fibroid embolization?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization, or UFE, is a minimally invasive, non-surgical option for treating fibroids. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, a highly-skilled physician, who is trained in minimally invasive techniques to treat a variety of diseases.
What are the surgical options for uterine fibroids?
Myomectomy and hysterectomy are surgical procedures performed by a gynecologist with patients under general anesthesia. Unlike, UFE, these two procedures remove the problematic fibroids from a woman’s body. Myomectomy involves selectively removing only the fibroids. Hysterectomy involves removing the fibroids and the uterus together. However, since more invasive than UFE, these surgical options require longer recovery.
Which treatment option is best for me?
The best treatment will depend on your symptoms, the location and size of your fibroids, your age, and your desire to maintain fertility. The first step toward feeling better is to schedule a consultation with one of our fibroid experts.