About one in three American women will experience some kind of pelvic disorder by the age of 60. Every year, over half a million of those women undergo hysterectomies. In the past, there were few treatment options, and removing the problematic organ was viewed as a good solution to many problems. However, thanks to modern technology and advances in medical science, we have more conservative, customized healthcare solutions. While hysterectomies are necessary in some circumstances, they can often be avoided.
Fibroids are among the most common reasons why hysterectomies are performed. Fibroids are tumors that form on the smooth uterine walls. They are usually benign (non-cancerous), and sometimes asymptomatic. However, depending on the size, location, and number of fibroids, they can cause pain, bleeding, and possibly infertility.
Treatment options for fibroids include:
- Watchful waiting – If you do not have any symptoms, treatment may be unnecessary. However, the situation should be monitored closely.
- Myomectomy – Surgically removes only the fibroids. When performed using laparoscopic surgery, there is minimal discomfort or downtime.
- Uterine artery embolization – This minimally invasive procedure is the same technique used to relieve hemorrhaging. The uterine arteries are injected with small particles, reducing the blood flow to the fibroids. About 85 to 90 percent of women notice a reduction of symptoms following this procedure.
- Medications – If you have painful symptoms, but you wish to avoid surgery or other medical procedures, the condition may be managed with medication. In some cases, NSAIDS are sufficient to manage the pain and discomfort. (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If that treatment is ineffective, certain drugs that block hormone production may bring relief. However, they have potential side effects such as premature menopause.
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy – Sometimes a hysterectomy is unavoidable. This technique is less invasive and less painful than the traditional method.
If you are concerned about fibroids, call our office and schedule an appointment. Dr. Jenkins believes in conservative treatment, avoiding surgery when possible. He will discuss your available options, including the side effects, benefits, and potential risks. When surgery is necessary, he uses the latest laparoscopic technology for a minimally invasive procedure and faster recovery time.
Call our Katy, TX office at 855-346-8610 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jenkins today.
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