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Treatments for Uterine Fibroids

Below is a list of the most popular options for treating uterine fibroids. By visiting us at The Fibroid Treatment Center, you can have all of your options presented to you, instead of just the one treatment or procedure that your doctor knows how to perform.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), also referred to as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), is a minimally invasive, non-surgical, outpatient procedure for treating fibroids. This procedure has been performed for many years, but because most Gynecologists aren't trained to perform it, they often don't recommend it!

If you have fibroids and haven't been offered UFE, you MUST see our center. Every day in our medical practice, we perform this procedure, and women LOVE the results. UFE can be a perfect option for women like you who are suffering from heavy bleeding, or pelvic pain, pressure, and cramping. You don't have to lose your uterus, and you don't have to undergo a complicated surgical procedure.

As discussed below, the procedure involves stopping the blood flow into the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and stop bleeding. Most women see results almost immediately. If you're still not convinced this could be for you, be sure to download our free eBook, or schedule a free phone consultation by clicking the 'Schedule Appointment' button to the left. We're here to help you take back control of your life!

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Previously, women needed to have the uterus removed to treat symptomatic fibroids. With the uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) procedure, women can keep their uterus and ovaries but still treat the pain and bleeding associated with fibroid disease. During the embolization procedure, a small catheter is placed into the arteries which supply blood to the fibroids. Small particles are delivered into the artery to stop the blood flow into the fibroid.

Once the blood flow is stopped into your fibroids, they can't bleed!  And over the following weeks, the fibroids will shrink in size. Most women feel years younger after the procedure, with more energy, less pain, bloating, and of course, less bleeding!

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The one-hour procedure is done within our center. Patients will recover for several hours and then be discharged to the comfort of their homes. No overnight hospitalizations and long rehabilitation is required. Patients are encouraged to return to regular activity as soon as the next day.

It's no wonder that more and more women are choosing to keep their uterus, avoid long recovery associated with surgery, and have this outpatient, non-surgical option.

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Uterine Fibroid Emobilization (UFE)

Although a basic hysterectomy is still an essential option for some patients, every woman should be seen at a center that can perform advanced fibroid treatments. Few other centers in the country provide the diversity and convenience of The Fibroid Treatment Center. Before you decide to undergo a hysterectomy, be sure to schedule your visit with us!

Fibroid Removal

Myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids from the uterus. Fibroids are common noncancerous growths that appear in the uterus, usually during childbearing years, but can occur at any age.

During a myomectomy, the fibroids are taken out and the uterus is closed. Unlike hysterectomy, which removes your entire uterus, myomectomy removes only the fibroids and leaves your uterus intact.

Myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids from the uterus. Fibroids are common noncancerous growths that appear in the uterus, usually during childbearing years, but can occur at any age.

During a myomectomy, the fibroids are taken out and the uterus is closed. Unlike hysterectomy, which removes your entire uterus, myomectomy removes only the fibroids and leaves your uterus intact.

Myomectomy

What is a Myomectomy?
  • Dr. Gerry Bustillo is currently the Medical Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Program at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center and has over 25 years of experience in all types of gynecologic surgery. In the video above, Dr. Bustillo helps answer the most important questions about myomectomy (fibroid removal) surgery:

  • What is a myomectomy, or fibroid removal surgery?

  • What are the different types of myomectomy surgeries?

  • How long is the expected recovery after myomectomy surgery?

  • What is important in choosing a myomectomy surgeon?

Myomectomy and Morcellation

On Thursday, April 17th, 2014, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning to stop using the equipment necessary for robotic and laparoscopic myomectomy due to the chance of spreading cancer throughout a woman's body. This warning was front-page news for many national news outlets.

During laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy, the fibroid is carefully removed from the uterus. Once the fibroid is removed, it must be broken into pieces small enough to be removed through the laparoscopic incisions. The FDA warning is specifically for the 'morcellator', or the device used to break up the fibroid. In some rare cases, when the fibroid is actually cancer, the morcellator acts to spread cancer throughout a woman's abdomen. Thus, the FDA has instructed doctors to stop using this device immediately. Myomectomy can still be performed, but it must be done with a large enough incision to remove the fibroid in one piece.

Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a woman's uterus through a surgical incision. By definition, a partial hysterectomy removes just the uterus while a total hysterectomy removes the uterus and the cervix. Sometimes during a hysterectomy surgery, a surgeon can also remove one or both ovaries and fallopian tubes. If an ovary and fallopian tube are removed, the procedure includes the term 'salpingo-oophorectomy'.

The most common reasons to have a hysterectomy are excessive vaginal bleeding, uterine fibroids (sometimes these two are related), pelvic organ prolapse, cervical abnormalities (dysplasia, or frank cancer), uterine or other pelvic cancers, chronic pelvic pain, as well as other more rare situations. Sometimes a hysterectomy is done at the same time as other surgical procedures such as colon cancer surgery, or ovarian cancer surgery.

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Hysterectomy Incension Point

The incision for an abdominal hysterectomy is usually in the lower abdomen. Sometimes the skin incision is in the bikini line, while the muscle is opened from the pubic bone to the belly button. Other times, the incision is made through the skin from the pubic bone to the umbilicus.

A hysterectomy, depending on a surgeon's experience and the reason for the hysterectomy, can also be performed through an incision in the vagina (vaginal hysterectomy) or laparoscopically. During these minimally invasive techniques, smaller incisions are required in the abdominal wall. Today, some surgeons can perform a hysterectomy using a surgical robot. These techniques use small, thin instruments passed through very small abdominal incisions. For women with a large uterus, large fibroids, or if other internal organs need to be evaluated, an abdominal hysterectomy may be indicated.

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Hysterectomy for Uterine Fibroid Removal

WebMD discusses uterine fibroids at great length, and leading experts from across the country agree with The Fibroid Treatment Center that hysterectomy for fibroid disease is an out dated solution to a more straight forward problem. Excerpts from WebMD are listed below:

Treatment Options: What You Should Know

In the not-too-distant past, doctors routinely performed a hysterectomy for fibroid tumors. And while newer, less-invasive treatments are available, studies show this dramatic operation is still being performed today -- far more frequently than necessary.

"A panel convened by our own governing body -- the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists -- found that 76% of all hysterectomies performed today do not meet the criteria for this surgery. They are being done unnecessarily," says Ernst Bartsich, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York.

"I believe many women are conceding to a hysterectomy for fibroid tumors because they are led to believe it's the only solution -- and that is wrong," says Bartsich. At The Fibroid Treatment Center, we specialize in being able to discuss ALL options with a woman. For some women, a hysterectomy might be the best option, while most will have fibroid disease amenable to a more minimally invasive alternative.

Discussion of Hysterectomy at WebMD

 Compare Fibroid Treatments

At The Fibroid Treatment Center, our mission is to empower women by preventing hysterectomy and providing alternative choices to hysterectomy that allow women to return to life sooner and in better health! That's the goal for all women at The Fibroid Treatment Center! 

Below is a comparison between uterine fibroid embolization (UFE, UAE), minimally invasive myomectomy (fibroid removal), and hysterectomy. UFE and Robotic surgery each have their advantages and disadvantages which should be discussed with a specialist at The Fibroid Treatment Center.  

As discussed on our Myomectomy page, the FDA has banned the use of equipment needed to perform robotic or laparoscopic myomectomy due to the risk of spreading cancer within a woman's abdomen. Therefore, no fibroid specialists in the country are performing minimally invasive myomectomy at this time. Open surgery with myomectomy can still be safely performed.

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We encourage women to schedule an initial consultation or a second opinion with us at The Fibroid Treatment Center. Direct patient self-referrals are accepted. For women who have already been evaluated by their OB/GYN, Dr. Harris is happy to offer a second opinion or work closely with each patient's Gynecologist prior to surgery or hysterectomy.

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The cornerstone of fibroid treatment is accurate X-ray studies. MRI scans are the most useful x-ray because it provides the most information about the size and location of fibroids throughout the uterus. MRI scans also help ensure that there is no other cause for the patient's symptoms.

 

At The Fibroid Treatment Center, we have one of the most advanced MRI machines available, at 3 Tesla MRI. This allows us to provide the most detailed images of the fibroids helping ensure the highest quality for our patients. We are one of the only fibroid centers in the country to have our own MRI machine in our office. By providing MRI imaging in our office, we can ensure the highest quality and provide the most convenient service to our patients.

MRI Imaging

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After MRI imaging, ultrasound imaging is the next most important X-ray study to have before a fibroid treatment. Ultrasound can help establish the size of the fibroids and can be used by doctors to follow the size of fibroids over time. Ultrasounds are easy to undergo and are quicker than MRI or other X-ray scans. At The Fibroid Treatment Center, we have ultrasound available to our patients who need this as part of their workup. By having our own ultrasound in the office, we can ensure the highest quality for our patients.

Ultrasound Imaging

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