Fibroids Specialist Arizona

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors arising from the smooth muscle cells of the uterus or myometrium. Fibroids are extremely common; they affect approximately 25% of reproductive-aged women and are more common in African American women and women with a family history of fibroids.

  1. Menstrual abnormalities
    • Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, often associated with iron deficiency anemia and sometimes requiring blood transfusions
    • Painful periods
  2. Bulk-related symptoms
    • General abdominal fullness/pressure
    • Bladder pressure and urinary urgency/frequency and sensation of incomplete bladder emptying
    • Constipation
    • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  3. Reproductive problems
    • Reduced fertility
    • Increased miscarriage risk
    • Pregnancy complications (fibroid degeneration/pain, preterm contractions, obstructed labor, increased need for cesarean delivery)

The location, size, and number of fibroids are associated with the likelihood of certain symptoms and reproductive problems. Submucosal fibroids (fibroids growing within the uterine cavity) are usually discovered at a smaller size than other types of fibroids because they frequently present early with menstrual problems. They are also the most highly associated with implantation failures and miscarriage risk. Intramural fibroids, or those located within the wall of the uterus, can cause all three types of fibroid-related symptoms but usually do not become problematic for fertility unless they are distorting the endometrial cavity or grow to greater than 3-4 cm in size. Subserosal fibroids grow from the outside of the uterus and can become quite large, usually causing bulk symptoms. In rare cases, they can grow, twist, or degenerate, causing pain or pregnancy complications.

Uterine Fibroids

Laparoscopic view of multiple subserosal uterine fibroids arising from the outer wall of the uterus.

Fertility-Sparing and Fertility-Enhancing Surgery for Fibroids

Symptomatic uterine fibroids can be removed by a uterine-sparing surgical procedure called myomectomy. Dr. Lipskind has tremendous experience with complex myomectomy procedures and will never perform a hysterectomy in a woman who wishes to preserve her uterus. If you require treatment for fibroids and desire future fertility, it is critical that your surgeon shares the same philosophy and that he or she will go above and beyond to preserve the integrity of your uterus and prevent damage to the nearby fallopian tubes from scar tissue (adhesion) formation through proper minimally invasive and microsurgical techniques. Dr. Lipskind uses several advanced approaches for myomectomy, depending on the specifics of the case. In most cases, patients can go home the same day or the next day.

If you have infertility or symptoms associated with uterine fibroids, we can help. Please call your ACFS fertility team today at (480) 630-0212.

Removed Uterine Fibroids

Multiple uterine fibroids removed by uterine-sparing myomectomy for a patient who was told that hysterectomy was her only option. The largest tumor measures 8 cm.