Quick Survey: Fibroid Removal
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Fibroid Removal

I am a forty seven year old women and my periods have recently become heavier and longer. A pelvic ultrasound showed a 3.5 cm. fibroid located in the wall of the uterus (a submucous fibroid). My doctor wants to do a hysterectomy if it grows any bigger. Can you tell me about the new surgical techniques to remove fibroids and preserve the uterus?

Fibroids are benign growths in or on the uterus. Smaller fibroids like yours can be removed through a new procedure known as hysteroscopy. Hysteroscopy refers to an operation in which a small lighted instrument (scope) is used to look inside your uterus (hystero).

Fibroids under one or two centimetres, that have a stalk, or are protruding into the uterine cavity, can be easily removed through the hysteroscope. Fibroids between 2.5 and 5 centimetres can be removed the same way after they have been shrunk through medication. Fibroids larger than 5 centimetres must be shrunk medically, and then removed in two steps.

A recent article by Dalhousie professors Drs. Robert and Farrell, reviewed over 1,000 cases of submucous fibroids and polyps. They found that both could be removed safely through the hysteroscope, with over 80 percent of women experiencing good results.

Slowly growing fibroids which are causing no symptoms can be left alone. Fibroids larger than the size of a grapefruit that are causing pressure symptoms or severe bleeding can be handled through myomectomy which means removal of the fibroid tumour with preservation, and if necessary, reconstruction of the uterus. These operations can be more complicated, require a longer time, and cause more blood loss than hysterectomies. Usually it will take some research and input from women's groups to find a gynecologist who is skilled at removing fibroids, even in a large city.

Natural treatments for fibroids aim to decrease levels of estrogen in the body. Excess estrogen can come from many sources including high animal fat diets, pesticides and other chemicals which mimic the action of estrogen, sub-optimal liver function, nutritional deficiencies and bowel problems. Treatments include low fat high fibre diet, hot castor oil packs to the abdomen three to four times a week, iodine supplements, herbs to support and detoxify the liver, and natural progesterone cream. Homeopathy and Chinese medicine can also be helpful. Usually, especially for large fibroids, the supervision of a skilled professional is necessary.

Fibroid growth will be stimulated by taking estrogen. Fibroids will also shrink after menopause. So as you are probably approaching menopause, the best course may be to leave them alone until that time.

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