Many of the hysterectomies performed every year are medically unnecessary when there are less drastic treatments for uterine fibroids available. With non- or less-invasive options recommended by the American College of Gynecology, a hysterectomy should not be the first treatment considered.
Contraceptives can be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding, and if it’s a symptom of uterine fibroids, that may be helpful. Most forms of birth control will not shrink the size of the fibroids, however. Other hormone therapies can block the natural hormones that feed fibroids. Blocking hormones will temporarily cause symptoms similar to menopause. Hormone therapies are one of the slowest treatment methods but are effective.
This procedure damages the lining of your uterus, and in most cases, it is destroyed completely. The process removes any fibroids inside the uterus but does not treat any inside the walls or on the exterior. After endometrial ablation, most women aren’t likely to get pregnant but will need to use some form of birth control to prevent an ectopic pregnancy. This may be an option to treat medical conditions in addition to fibroids.
A myomectomy removes the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. This surgery may affect future fertility, and any pregnancy would need to be monitored closely by an obstetrician. While this is still a surgery and requires recovery, it is an alternative to a hysterectomy where the uterus is removed completely. Myomectomy can usually be done laparoscopically.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
UFE is a first-line treatment for uterine fibroids, meaning it’s the first suggested therapy by the American College of Gynecology. It’s minimally invasive and doesn’t require general anesthesia. While sedated but relaxed, your doctor will navigate a catheter through your femoral and uterine arteries to the site of the fibroids. They will then release tiny particles of plastic or gelatin that block the blood flow to the fibroids, so they shrink.
To find out if Uterine Fibroid Embolization is the right hysterectomy alternative for you, call our office at (212) 254-0149 to schedule your appointment. We may have same-day appointments available.