Uterine fibroids is a common condition and studies show that up to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids during their reproductive years. Visit VIVA EVE, a center for uterine fibroids in Forest Hills, Queens where the best fibroid surgeons in NYC will use diagnostic ultrasound to confirm the presence of fibroids and to measure and map their exact locations. The results can determine the course for further fibroid treatment options.
Fibroids may be solitary or come in groups. They can be tiny as a seed, as large as a melon, or any size in-between. Some fibroids are asymptomatic — where many women don’t even know they have fibroids — and some cause a multitude of symptoms.
Symptoms Requiring a Fibroid Ultrasound
If your fibroid specialist in NYC suspects fibroids, further tests often are needed to confirm the diagnosis. A uterine fibroids ultrasound helps your doctor confirm the presence of fibroids — and measure and map their exact location. The results can determine the course for further fibroid treatment options. Symptoms that may require further testing or treatment include:
- Frequent urination
- Pressure on the bladder or rectum
- Lower back or abdominal pain
- Constipation or rectal pain
- Mild to severe cramping and pain
- Longer or more frequent menstruation
- Enlarged uterus from large fibroids
- Heavy bleeding with possible blood clots
- Spotting between periods
Heavy bleeding can cause anemia. Fibroids that erupt near your fallopian tubes can prevent your eggs from entering your uterus. Some women have pregnancy complications and repeated miscarriages in part due to the presence of uterine fibroids.
Diagnostic Ultrasound for Uterine Fibroids
When conducting an ultrasound for fibroids, your fibroid specialist at the VIVA EVE fibroid clinic in New York City will discuss two ways for finding the best diagnostic images during your initial evaluation:
- Transvaginal, which involves placing a long wand inside your vagina
- Transabdominal, during which an instrument passes across your belly
The best choice depends on the suspected location and size of your growths. You may need additional imaging tests, including an MRI or an MRI after dye or saline has been injected into your uterus. The best fibroid doctors use these additional tests to get the most accurate picture possible to find what’s causing your symptoms.
Focused Ultrasound as a Treatment for Fibroids
Focused ultrasound is a relatively new procedure and its benefits and risks have not yet been well-researched.
To prepare for a focused ultrasound for fibroids, you lie on your stomach and enter an MRI machine facedown. The image gives real-time, three-dimensional feedback about the location, temperature, and tissue changes. Your fibroid specialist targets the center of the fibroids with focused ultrasound waves. A focused ultrasound for fibroids acts like a magnifying glass, burning away the fibroids. As the waves merge on one spot, the tissue heats up enough to kill the abnormally growing cells of the fibroids in the uterus. This method can be repeated as often as necessary for large fibroids or for any that may reoccur. Some fibroids may not be suitable for the focused ultrasound treatment.
The potential benefits of this treatment method include:
- It's a non-invasive approach requiring no incisions.
- A targeted approach doesn’t damage surrounding tissue.
- Focused ultrasound for fibroids requires no anesthesia.
- It’s an outpatient procedure.
- Few complications have been reported with this method.
- Most patients report rapid resolution of fibroid symptoms afterward.
- This method preserves fertility for those wishing to get pregnant.
Risks of Focused Fibroid Ultrasound
You may not be a good candidate if you have numerous or very large fibroids. Lots of abdominal scarring may also prohibit finding the most effective path for the ultrasound transducer to target your fibroid growth. Also, remember that fibroids are non-cancerous growths, which matters because MRI-guided focused ultrasound for removing fibroids can be used only in non-cancerous situations. Your fibroid doctor can advise you of your options during your consultation. Other risks may include:
- Possible, but unlikely, damage to some of the surrounding tissues and structures
- Blood clots in the legs
- Burns on the skin of the patient's abdomen
- Stimulation of certain nerves, causing temporary pain in the back and legs
A friend or family member should take you home since the medications you may have to take make driving unsafe. Over-the-counter painkillers ease any discomfort you feel after your procedure. Over time, your body absorbs the tissue that has been treated, and your symptoms resolve.
VIVA EVE, your fibroid center in NYC, stays on top of the latest research and cutting-edge techniques that can treat your uterine fibroids and resolve your symptoms, getting you back to your busy, active life. VIVA EVE currently doesn’t offer Focused Ultrasound as a fibroid treatment option, but this will change if more clinical studies confirm that this is a safe and effective treatment option.