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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are a common condition in women and can lead to abnormal pain and bleeding.

Fibroids are typically non-cancerous growths that can range from the size of a seed to that of grapefruit. Women can have one or many fibroids.

Fibroids can occur at any age, however women between the ages of 30 and 40 are most likely to experience fibroids. Research has also shown that black women are diagnosed with fibroids at a higher rate and experience more symptoms. All women can develop fibroids.

Fibroid symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods or Prolonged periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent urination
  • Infertility or difficulty conceiving

Many times, women do not have any symptoms.

Fibroids can be found during regular pelvic exams and follow-up imaging, so it's important to not delay regular check-ups.


Treatment

Many times, fibroids do not require any treatment. Historically, a hysterectomy was a common treatment for fibroids, but today, treatment can also include medication and minimally invasive procedures. Instead of removing the uterus, Interventional Radiologists are replacing the need of surgery


Uterine Fibroid Embolization

UI Health interventional radiologists are highly skilled in uterine fibroid embolization procedures. This kind of procedure is minimally invasive and uses a catheter to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids. This shrinks the fibroid, prevents them from growing larger and in some cases disappear. This procedure typically does not require a hospital stay and patients can go home within hours of having the procedure.


Surgical Procedures

  • Hysterectomy: This surgery involves removing the uterus. It can be performed vaginally, laparoscopically, robotically, or as traditional (open) surgery.
  • Myomectomy: A minimally invasive robotic surgery performed laparoscopically or using a surgical robot.