As an option, fibroids can be treated with medication. These can range from oral contraceptives to synthetic hormone medication designed to shrink the fibroids or to stop menstruation altogether (fibroids and symptoms can return after medication is discontinued). Since these medications interfere with the menstrual cycle, they are not recommended for women who want to become pregnant. It is also important to note that high levels of hormones may cause fibroids to grow even as they help to decrease the bleeding.
The two kinds of surgeries most commonly preformed to treat fibroids are hysterectomy and myomectomy procedures.
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that completely removes the uterus (and usually the cervix). As a patient, you should be aware that a hysterectomy eliminates all chances of pregnancy, and it can trigger the early onset of menopause.
Myomectomy involves removing just the fibroids while preserving the uterus, making this a good option for women who want to have children.
The location of the fibroid determines how the doctor performs the removal. The two minimally invasive, outpatient surgical alternatives are the hysteroscopic and laparoscopic myomectomy procedures. An open abdominal myomectomy is an option that is invasive and is considered major surgery, which requires hospitalization.
- A traditional hysteroscopic myomectomy uses a device called a resectoscope that enables the doctor to see and work inside a fluid-filled uterus. The fibroid is removed with an electrified wire loop inserted through the cervix.
- A laparoscopic myomectomy allows the doctor to operate through several small incisions in the abdomen. Through the use of various instruments the doctor can see and remove the fibroid(s) from the uterus.
Endometrial polyps can be treated with a range of surgical procedures. The most common is a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. An instrument is placed through the cervix to scrape the growths from the uterine wall.
A second approach is a polypectomy (removal of the polyps) using a hysteroscope. A special grasping device is used to snag the polyps and remove them. A third approach to a polypectomy involves the use of an electrical loop to cut the growths out of the uterus.
Based on the specifics of your own medical condition, your doctor will determine which treatment options are available to you.