Dr. McLucas shares the different surgical treatments available for fibroids.
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Aside from the medical treatments for fibroids, there are two well known surgical treatments. One is hysterectomy, that’s removing the whole uterus by itself including the fibroids. Another surgery is myomectomy, the medical term for fibroids is a myoma; a myomectomy is removing the fibroids and leaving the uterus intact. Now traditionally, for a large uterus, it’s done through either an up-and-down incision or what we would call a 'Pfannenstiel’ incision, and women would probably call a ‘bikini’ incision at the bottom of the abdominal cavity. Both of these operations are risky. There are complications. They're both, what we would call a ‘bloody’ operation. The woman would be at risk of transfusion, and with that, the risk of AIDS and hepatitis. Scar tissue can form around the site of either a hysterectomy or a myomectomy. And speaking of myomectomy, the biggest risk of myomectomy is a risk of recurrence. There’s something going on within the uterus that causes fibroids to form. So even though your surgeon might get all of the fibroids out of the uterus, given time, more fibroids will form. So overall, probably the risk of recurrence is maybe 30%. The further away from the menopause you are, the more likely you are to have that recurrence. If you have a myomectomy in your early 30s, you can guarantee that you’re going to have to have another one before menopause.