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Before You Get Fibroid Removal Surgery

9 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Fibroid removal surgery
A recent fibroid diagnosis can be overwhelming. Women often feel rushed into surgery with very little consideration given to alternative treatment options. We’re here to tell you that you do have options when it comes to your fibroid treatment, but you also have trade offs to consider. How invasive is the procedure? How long will I need to recover before I can go back to work? Will I be able to get pregnant afterwards? Will my fibroids come back in the future? The answers to these questions will vary depending on the treatment approach that you choose.

Before you go under the knife you should make sure that you understand the full impact of the fibroid surgery being offered to you. It’s also critical that you communicate your expectations with your doctor so that they can help you get to the treatment that makes the most sense for you. To help you navigate your options, our Fibroid Specialists have prepared this list of 9 questions to ask your doctor before you undergo fibroid removal surgery.

Fibroid Specialist Dr. Michael Lalezarian

Fibroid Surgery Alternative in Los Angeles

ProFibroidMD is a leading provider of uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the non-surgical treatment option for uterine fibroid symptom relief. Our Fibroid Specialists have helped countless women overcome their fibroids and get back to their happy, healthy selves without going through a major surgery.
5-star fibroid symptom relief
“He is truly dedicated, and an extraordinary physician who’s really concerned with his patients!”

Adrianne S, October 2018

(1) How Will My Fibroid Surgery Be Done?

The exact technique that your surgeon is going to use is important because different techniques have different outcomes. How long your recovery will take, whether or not you’ll be able to get pregnant afterwards, and post-operative scarring are just a few of the outcomes that vary depending on the approach used by your surgeon.

Fibroid removal surgery could mean the complete removal of the uterus. This approach is called a hysterectomy. Fibroid removal surgery could also mean the targeted removal of the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact. This approach is called a myomectomy. Hysterectomies and myomectomies can be done through one large incision across the abdomen, through multiple small incisions laparoscopically, or entirely through the vagina. Even within these very different techniques, there’s a great deal of variation in how your surgery can go, so it’s critical to understand exactly what procedure you’re getting.

(2) Will I have Scars After My Fibroid Surgery?

Post-operative scars are a very real concern for many women undergoing fibroid surgery. Depending on the surgical technique used, women may end up with no scars (vaginal approach), multiple small scars (laparoscopic approach), or one large scar (abdominal approach). Scars can be permanent, so it’s important to be comfortable with the incisions you’ll get before you decide that fibroid surgery is right for you.
Fibroid removal surgery incision scar across abdomen

(3) Will I Be Hospitalized After Fibroid Surgery?

Because it is a major surgery, fibroid removal often requires at least one night’s stay in the hospital to monitor post-operative recovery. Depending on how the surgery goes and the preference of your physician, many patients spend as many as 3 nights in the hospital. Hospitalization has important implications on your overall healthcare costs and your recovery, so it’s important to have a clear idea of what to expect when it comes to your hospital stay.

(4) How Long Will My Recovery Take?

Like other outcomes, fibroid surgery recovery time varies by technique. Most women that undergo fibroid removal surgery can expect a minimum recovery period of about 2 weeks before they’re able to fully resume normal strenuous activities like work and exercise. But a full recovery for some can take as long as 6 weeks. It’s important to get a more specific estimate from your surgeon, as you’ll likely want to plan your busy life around your recovery and understand when everything will get back to normal.
Fibroid Surgery Alternatives
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Woman in recovery after fibroid surgery removal

(5) Are There Any Side Effects of Fibroid Surgery?

While fibroid surgery is quite safe and procedural complications are quite rare, every surgery carries some level of risk of major side effects. For fibroid surgery, risks include bleeding, the need for a blood transfusion, infection, damage to organs in the abdomen such as the bladder or bowel, scar tissue forming in the abdomen that binds organs and tissue together, bowel or urinary problems, and fertility issues.

(6) Will My Fibroids Come Back After Fibroid Surgery?

Some women are surprised to learn that fibroids can ‘come back’ after myomectomy. Fibroids that are incompletely excised can regrow, or brand new fibroids can develop into sizes that cause symptoms to return. In medicine, this phenomenon is often called ‘recurrence.’ With hysterectomy, however, recurrence is not possible because the entire uterus is removed, so you’ll be fibroid free for the rest of your life.

(7) Will I Need Another Fibroid Surgery Operation Later?

Should your fibroids come back after myomectomy, you may need another procedure in the future. If you’re considering myomectomy fibroid removal, you should talk to your doctor about the likelihood of fibroid recurrence and consider how it might change your treatment decision.
Fibroid Surgery Alternatives
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Woman consulting with her physician after fibroid removal surgery

(8) Will I Be Able To Get Pregnant After Fibroid Surgery?

We advise our fibroid patients to think very carefully about whether or not they want children in the future, and when the answer is no, we ask them to consider whether or not they could change their mind in the future. If there’s even a slight possibility that you would like to get pregnant in the future, then hysterectomy should not be considered. Pregnancy is absolutely not possible after hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), but it is possible after myomectomy.

(9) What Other Fibroid Treatment Options Are There?

Many women are surprised to learn that fibroid removal surgery isn’t their only option. Non-surgical fibroid treatment with uterine artery embolization provides the same symptomatic relief as surgery but does not require any major incisions, has a much shorter recovery time, and does not harm the uterus.

Even with the information provided here, we still recommend that you have an in-depth consultation with your doctor around these questions. We can’t overstate how important it is that you have weighed all of your options and have all of the facts before you get fibroid surgery. Get in touch with us at ProFibroidMD if you’d like to learn more about fibroid surgery and non-surgical options for fibroids.

Fibroid Surgery Alternatives
See a Specialist in Los Angeles
More Resources
Woman discussing surgical vs. non-surgical fibroid treatment options with Fibroid Specialist
Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Fibroid Treatments: Which Is Best?

When it comes to fibroid treatment, we believe that less is more. A less invasive procedure means less trauma, less risk, and shorter recovery time. Learn more about why we opt for UFE, the least invasive treatment for uterine fibroids.

Uterine artery embolization
Uterine Artery Embolization
Uterine artery embolization is a minimally-invasive procedure that we offer at ProFibroidMD to relieve heavy bleeding, pain, and other symptoms in patients with uterine fibroids. Learn more about our specialty procedure.
Fibroid Specialist in Los Angeles
Fibroid Specialist in Los Angeles
Learn more about Los Angeles Fibroid Specialist Dr. Michael Lalezarian.
References

[1] Gupta et al. (2014). Uterine artery embolization for symptomatic uterine fibroids (Review). Cochrane Library, (5).
[2] de Bruijn, A. M., Ankum, W. M., Reekers, J. A., Birnie, E., van der Kooij, S. M., Volkers, N. A., & Hehenkamp, W. J. K. (2016). Uterine artery embolization vs hysterectomy in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids: 10-year outcomes from the randomized EMMY trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 215(6), 745.e1-745.e12.
[3] Mara, M., Maskova, J., Fucikova, Z., Kuzel, D., Belsan, T., & Sosna, O. (2008). Midterm clinical and first reproductive results of a randomized controlled trial comparing uterine fibroid embolization and myomectomy. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology, 31(1), 73–85.
[4] McLucas, B., Voorhees, W. D., & Elliott, S. (2016). Fertility after uterine artery embolization: A review. Minimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies, 25(1), 1–7.
[5] de Bruijn, A. M., Ankum, W. M., Reekers, J. A., Birnie, E., van der Kooij, S. M., Volkers, N. A., & Hehenkamp, W. J. K. (2016). Uterine artery embolization vs hysterectomy in the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids: 10-year outcomes from the randomized EMMY trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 215(6), 745.e1-745.e12.
[6] Davis, M. R., Soliman, A. M., Castelli-Haley, J., Snabes, M. C., & Surrey, E. S. (2018). Reintervention Rates After Myomectomy, Endometrial Ablation, and Uterine Artery Embolization for Patients with Uterine Fibroids. Journal of Women’s Health (2002), 27(10).

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