Laura Dawahare

Fibroids Are Common Problem for Women

Published: Apr 1, 2014

This column appeared in the March 30, 2014 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2014) — Uterine fibroids are very common, occurring in as many as 50 percent of women in their reproductive years and up to two-thirds of women by the time they go through menopause. While many fibroids cause no problems and require no treatment, for some women they can cause serious quality-of-life issues.

 

What are fibroids?

Fibroids, also known as "leiomyoma," are tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. These tumors are almost always non-cancerous, but very rarely, they can resemble a uterine cancer, known as a leiomyosarcoma.

Though the vast majority of fibroids are benign, they can still cause many problems for women, including heavy, painful bleeding, bulk symptoms such as bladder or rectal pressure, and frequent urination. They can also be associated with infertility and complications of pregnancy.

 

What causes fibroids?

The exact cause of fibroids is unknown, but the hormones estrogen and progesterone seem to play a role in their growth and development.

In addition to a woman's age, there are other risk factors for developing fibroids. If a woman's mother had fibroids, she is more likely to develop them herself. African-American women are more likely to have fibroids that cause symptoms, and  women who are overweight or who have never had children appear to be at a higher risk as well. 

 

How are fibroids treated?

Not all fibroids need to be treated. In general, fibroids should only be treated when they are causing symptoms described as above. Some symptoms, like heavy or painful bleeding can be treated with hormonal therapy, but fibroids are most commonly treated with one of the following procedures:

 

A hysterectomy is the complete removal of the uterus. The most common reason hysterectomies are performed is to treat a fibroid problem. With less invasive procedures such as vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomy, pain and surgical risk are reduced, and patients usually leave after spending fewer than one day in the hospital. However, a hysterectomy is still a major surgical procedure and requires general anesthesia.

 

A myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids from the uterus. This is the most popular option for women who are planning to become pregnant in the future. This procedure can also be performed with a minimally invasive approach. Patients' blood loss is significantly reduced with a laparoscopic surgery, and these procedures can be performed as outpatient surgery; patients can often go home the same day. 

 

A uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that blocks the blood flow to fibroids, which in turn causes them to shrink. This procedure has no blood loss, it only takes a few hours with minimal recovery time. No general anesthesia is needed and it does not leave any scars. A UFE is preferred for women who are not planning for a future pregnancy and who have not yet reached menopause.

 

Dr. Driss Raissi is an interventional radiologist and Dr. Mark Hoffman is a gynecologic surgeon for UK HealthCare.

 

hoffman_markr_009.jpgraissi_driss_002.jpg
December
 
1
Resumes and Cover Letters
Circle of Love Gift Return
Mon
2
UK Guitar Studio
Circle of Love Gift Return
Tue
3
Networking and Job Search
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Wayne's World
Study Sounds: Classical Concert
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Frozen
Ballet Music of Tchaikovsky
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Live Screening of Orion Spacecraft Re-entry
Massage on the Go
Thu
5
LNFS Presents: Winter's Bone
LNFS Presents: Gremlins
Open Studio
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Fri
6
Snow Skiing @ Perfect North Slopes
Sat
7
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Sun
8
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find a Faculty Mentor"
Mon
9
Job Club - Identifying Your Skills
Paws for Stress Relief
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
Last Day of Classes
Fri
13
 
Sat
14
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Finals Treats
Sun
15
Final Exams
Crunch Brunch
Mon
16
Final Exams
Jazzy Holiday Concert
Tue
17
Final Exams
Caregiver Support Group
Wed
18
Final Exams
Thu
19
Final Exams
End of 2014 Fall Semester
Fri
20
 
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
 
Mon
23
 
Tue
24
 
Wed
25
 
Thu
26
 
Fri
27
 
Sat
28
 
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
31
 
Wed
 
 
 
Dec 19
End of 2014 Fall Semester 12/19/2014

Fri, 12/19/2014

Wed, 01/14/2015

Fri, 01/16/2015

Wed, 01/21/2015

Reset Page