Fibroids and Treatment
A uterine fibroid is a common type of benign (non-cancerous) tumor that develops within the uterine wall. Uterine fibroids occur in up to one third of all women and are the leading reason for hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) in the United States. One in five women older than 35 years has a uterine fibroid. An estimated 600,000 hysterectomies are performed in the United States annually, and at least one third are for fibroids.
Uterine fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters. They often increase in size and frequency with age, but then revert in size after menopause. While not all women with fibroids experience symptoms, symptoms may include excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and infertility.
A common alternative to hysterectomy is myomectomy – or surgical removal of uterine fibroids. This procedure preserves the uterus, and may be recommended for women who could become pregnant. About 65,000 myomectomies are performed annually in the United States.
Myomectomy is often performed through a large abdominal incision. After removing each fibroid, the surgeon carefully repairs the uterus, to minimize potential bleeding, infection and scarring. Proper repair of the uterus is critical to reducing the risk of uterine rupture during pregnancy.
da Vinci Myomectomy: A Less Invasive Surgical Procedure
If your doctor recommends surgical treatment, you may be a candidate for a new, less invasive surgical procedure called da Vinci Myomectomy. This procedure uses a state-of-the-art surgical system designed to help your surgeon perform a more precise, minimally invasive procedure designed to preserve the uterus. For most women, da Vinci Myomectomy offers numerous potential benefits over traditional surgical approaches, including:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less pain and scarring
- Less risk of wound infection
- Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
- Faster recovery
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Uterine preservation
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is patient- and procedure-specific. To learn more about da Vinci Myomectomy, talk with your doctor.