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