Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Uterine Fibroid EmbolizationExpand

Minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure blocks the blood flow to fibroid tumors, causing them to shrink. Performed by an interventional radiologist.

No general anesthesia required. Very small incision. Typical recovery less than one week. Less risk of major complications than surgical procedures. A single treatment is about 90% effective.

Post-procedural pain that generally dissipates in a few days. Complications may include mild fatigue or low-grade fever.

MyomectomyExpand

Surgical removal of fibroid tumors.

Relieves symptoms and preserves uterus. Some myomectomy procedures can be performed on patients with cancer.

Risks associated with major surgery, general anesthesia, and hospitalization. Up to six weeks of recovery. Fibroids can recur.

HysterectomyExpand

Surgical removal of the uterus.

Permanently relieves symptoms.

Loss of fertility. Risks associated with major surgery, general anesthesia, and hospitalization. Up to six weeks of recovery. Hormonal changes and potential long-term side effects if ovaries are removed.

MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUs)Expand

Ultrasound waves penetrate the abdominal wall and heat fibroid tissue, causing the tumor to shrink.

No incision. One- to two-day recovery with minimal discomfort. Preserves uterus.

Procedure can take several hours. Usually only appropriate for small fibroids near the surface of the uterus. Some insurance plans may not cover. Fibroids may recur.

Hormone treatmentExpand

Hormones moderate the production of estrogen and progesterone, putting patient in temporary postmenopausal state. When hormone production decreases, fibroids shrink and symptoms improve.

Non-surgical. Preserves uterus. No anesthesia; no recovery time.

Symptoms return when treatment stops. Some treatments will pause fertility. Recommended for a maximum of six months; otherwise may lead to early menopause-like symptoms, including osteoporosis (bone loss).

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