What are uterine fibroids? | Uterine Fibroids Treatment Specialist NYC

uterine fibroids treatment specialist nyc

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumors that develop in the uterus, are a common problem that many women experience. Dr. Bozdogan isan Uterine Fibroids Treatment Specialist NYC. For any questions, please call us at 646-630-4298

Women with family members that have uterine fibroids are more susceptible to this disease. It is typical for more than one uterine fibroid to form in most women. Since estrogen causes uterine fibroid growth, these benign tumors especially occur in childbearing years. The tumors typically shrink during menopause if the patient is not on a hormone medication regimen.

Uterine fibroids can form in different parts of the uterus. Specifically, they may grow inside the uterine wall, ovary, or extend into the uterine cavity. When they form outside the uterus, they connect themselves to the uterine wall via thick stalks.

Uterine fibroids can be so small that they are virtually invisible to the human eye, or they may reach diameters of about 10-15 centimeters. As they get bigger, they may deform the inside and outside of the uterus. Sometimes, uterine fibroids grow large enough to fill the lower abdomen or entire abdominal cavity.

During pregnancy, uterine fibroids can cause concerns. For instance, large uterine fibroids may cause bleeding due to pressure and may even lead to preterm birth.  Furthermore, the number of miscarriages in women with uterine fibroids can reach up to 40%. Finally, uterine fibroids may cause infertility in 2-3% of infertility cases.

Women between the ages of 35-45 are most commonly diagnosed with uterine fibroids. These tumors are rare in women at puberty, and the rate is lower after menopause. However, in some cases, the condition progresses if the patient is diagnosed with uterine fibroids just before menopause.

What are some symptoms of uterine fibroids?

Typically, most women have no symptoms. However, when they do appear, they may include:

  • Pressure and pain in the pelvic area
  • Pressure and pain in the lower abdominal area
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Iron deficiency/anemia
  • Sore back and legs
  • Painful sexual intercourse

How are uterine fibroids diagnosed?

Usually, uterine fibroids are found during a routine pelvic exam. In some cases, ultrasounds may be necessary for a diagnosis.

An MRI scan is necessary if symptoms are severe, if there are multiple uterine fibroids, or if a uterine fibroid larger than 7-8 centimeters is detected during an ultrasound.

MRIs are beneficial for many reasons.  First, an MRI scan detects the exact number and location of fibroids.  Also, the scan helps diagnose other potential conditions, such as adenomyosis, and enables an examination of the surrounding tissues and ovary.

How are uterine fibroids treated?
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Small uterine fibroids with no symptoms, or those that occur close to menopause, usually do not require treatment. However, uterine fibroid removal is necessary when the diameter of any uterine fibroid is greater than 5 centimeters or when any of the above symptoms negatively affect day to day life.

When should fibroids removal be performed?

Fibroids can interfere with conception and prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.  They can also block the fallopian tubes, which can prevent the embryo from passing into the uterus and growing normally.  Fibroids can also cause pre-term labor and premature birth.

When surgical removal is necessary, many women consider a hysterectomy. This not only eliminates fibroids, but it also removes the uterus so that the patient can no longer get pregnant.  

A myomectomy, an alternative treatment option for women who have fibroids and want to have children in the future, removes uterine fibroids without removing the uterus.  In fact, this approach to fibroid removal can actually increase a woman’s ability to get pregnant. 

How does fibroids removal increase fertility?

Fibroids can interfere with conception and prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.  In addition, they can block the fallopian tubes and prevent the embryo from passing into the uterus.  Finally, fibroids can cause preterm labor and premature birth.  Myomectomy is an excellent way to remove fibroids and, therefore, aid fertility.

In many cases, infertility specialists refer patients to Dr. Bozdogan for a myomectomy procedure before attempting in vitro fertilization.

Dr. Bozdogan often uses robotic surgery to improve the effectiveness of minimally-invasive myomectomy procedures. Robotic myomectomy uses specially-designed instruments that the surgeon controls while viewing the surgery on a computer screen. Using this state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Bozdogan makes much smaller incisions than the ones needed in traditional surgery. The incisions can be made in the pelvic area, or, in some cases, internal incisions can be made through the vaginal wall so that no external incisions are needed.

When he performs robotic-assisted surgery, Dr. Bozdogan uses the da Vinci robotic surgical system, which is considered the “gold standard” in robotic surgery.

 

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