Uterine fibroids are benign tumours that occur in the wall of the uterus in women, generally between the ages of 30 and 50 years
They may be inside the uterus attached to the wall by a “stalk” or they may be on the outer surface embedded in the wall. There may be a single fibroid or multiple fibroids. The symptoms of fibroids are many and varied and may occur as a single symptom or as a combination of symptoms.
Possible symptoms of fibroids:
- Vaginal bleeding
- passing clots
- pain in the lower abdomen
Any of these symptoms have an effect on the quality of life of the sufferer. Fortunately, fibroids can be tread and there are now a few options as to how to treat this condition. Until recently the options were limited to 2 types of surgery.
- Hysterectomy – This requires hospitalisation for a few days, a general anaesthetic and the surgical removal of the uterus.
The recovery period for this type of surgery is up to 6 weeks. There is the added fact that the patient has to come to terms with the fact that she has lost her uterus and therefore her childbearing ability has ended. In the younger woman, this can be traumatic.
- Myomectomy – This is a less radical procedure but still requiring an anaesthetic, hospitalisation for a few days and the required recuperation time of some weeks. The surgery removes the fibroids from the uterus with some uterine tissue but leaves the uterus intact. However, the fibroids may well recur.
Thanks to very advanced modern day methods that have given hope to many African women, uterine fibroids can be treated with a minimally invasive fibroids treatment procedure, carried out under local anesthetic whereby very tiny particles are injected into the blood vessels that feed the fibroid, blocking the blood supply to it and therefore “starving” it of oxygen and nourishment – it shrinks and disappears and the fibroid symptoms disappear and do not recur.
Another positive side to this procedure is that most patients go home within 24 hrs and can return to their normal activities in a few days.
The right procedure for you the patient must be decided by you the patient in consultation with your doctor. Having the right information about all the options available will make this decision far easier.