What is a myomectomy?
A myomectomy is a procedure to remove fibroids (also known as myomas) from the uterus. Fibroids are growths made up of connective tissue and muscle cells. These growths can present as one or many fibroids growing inside the muscle of the uterus or even elsewhere in the pelvis. They are typically not cancerous. During myomectomy, fibroids are removed, and the uterus is repaired. After this procedure, you will typically have a normally functioning uterus.
In some cases, treatment for fibroids could include a hysterectomy (a procedure to remove the entire uterus). Unlike after myomectomy, women who undergo a hysterectomy can no longer become pregnant.
What are my options if I have fibroids?
Fibroids are extremely common, and most fibroids do not require any treatment.
There are many treatment options for women with fibroids. Your healthcare provider will suggest the procedure that will work the best after considering these factors:
- Your symptoms
- The size, location and number of fibroids
- Your preferences (desire to become pregnant in the future or maintain your uterus for any other reason)
What questions should I ask my healthcare provider before fibroid treatment?
There are several questions you should consider before being treated for fibroids. The answers to these questions will help your healthcare provider determine the best type of treatment.
- Are the fibroids causing any symptoms?
- Do you want the option of future pregnancy?
- Do you want to continue to have periods?
- Do you prefer non-surgical options?
What is the difference between a myomectomy and a hysterectomy?
Myomectomy removes only the fibroids, leaving the uterus in place. This procedure will allow you to have future pregnancies. Periods will return, but hopefully lighter than before the fibroids were removed. There is a chance that new fibroids will develop. The surgery itself often takes longer than a hysterectomy, and there is often more blood loss with a myomectomy.
Hysterectomy is often chosen by women who have completed their child bearing and who do not want to have any periods in the future. Options surrounding the choice for hysterectomy include whether to include removal of the cervix or the ovaries. The route of hysterectomy may be vaginal, abdominal or laparoscopic (minimally invasive technique using small incisions on the abdomen).