September 11th, 2014
Uterine fibroids (myomas) are noncancerous tumors that grow from the smooth muscle cells inside the uterus. Although single fibroids do occur, usually there are multiple tumors. Fibroids can cause heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles, prolonged menstrual cycles (7 days or more), pelvic pressure or pain, urinary and bowel symptoms and infertility.
Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women and the leading indication for hysterectomy in the USA. Approximately 20% of women have symptomatic fibroids, with the incidence increasing after the age of 35. The incidence of fibroids is also higher in African-American women.
Fibroids are classified by their location in the uterus: submucosal fibroids are the least common and grow under the lining of the uterus (endometrium). These tumors can distort the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity). Intramural fibroids develop from within the uterine wall and are the most common type. Subserosal fibroids grow on the outer surface of the uterus, and can also grow off of the uterus attached by “stalks” and are then referred to as pedunculated fibroids. They do not usually cause bleeding but can cause pressure on the uterus and surrounding organs.
There are several treatment options for uterine fibroids, including medication, non-invasive treatments and minimally invasive procedures, including surgery. Therapy should be tailored to the patient, their symptoms, and desire for future fertility. Due to his advanced surgical skill and experience, Dr. Nezhat is able to manage very large fibroids with a minimally invasive approach. His techniques are taught world-wide and he is sought for the most advanced surgical cases.