Fibroid treatment options
April 8, 2006 2:41 PM   Subscribe

My fibroids have gone from nuisance to pain, and I'd like to get rid of them. What method(s) would you recommend?

Uterine embolization was brought up by my doctor a few years ago. I have some reservations about this method because it does involve some pain and the "best" results seem to be about a 50% to 60% reduction in size. I'm already carrying around fibroids the size of a 4.5 month pregnancy, so while that would be an improvement, it's not optimal.

Focused ultrasound seems to completely destroy the fibroid, with minimal discomfort, but I don't know if this method is available in Canada yet.

Any great sites or personal experiences you could share would be great, thanks!
posted by rosemere to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This weeks time magazine has an interesting article on a new method.

Check it out at: href=",9171,1179351,00.html">
posted by psususe at 3:50 PM on April 8, 2006

I had a fibroid a couple of years ago and had a hysterectomy.

My understanding is that with embolization, there's a 25% chance they will recur, and that is completely, totally, absolutely unacceptable. I wanted to be rid of them forever.

Also, if you have the cervix removed you won't have to worry about cervical cancer. If you have the ovaries removed you won't have to worry about ovarian cancer.

Try the hystersisters

It's a big site with lots of info and support.
posted by gg at 4:24 PM on April 8, 2006

I had a myomectomy in December. I spent a week in the hospital, couldn't lift anything for a month, and still have a bit of swelling, but it was totally worth it.

The operation wasn't too bad, I had morphine for a couple of days, and then some other painkillers, and after 5 days I didn't need to take anything. The scar is fading nicely, and most of my symptoms are gone (I still have to pee quite frequently, though, but not as frequently as I did before).

So for me, myomectomy was the right choice (and as a bonus, it also didn't hurt that it gave me a month and a half off from work, paid).
posted by hazyjane at 4:35 PM on April 8, 2006

It's worth noting that hazyjane posted a similar question some time back. Personal update: 2 years since acupuncture, with no recurrance.
posted by putzface_dickman at 5:33 AM on April 9, 2006

I had a myomectomy in July 2004. My experience was much easier and more straightforward than hazyjane's. Very little pain, and nothing that the drugs couldn't handle; a couple of nights in the hospital; moving slowly for a few days after that, but basically feeling fine throughout. I went back to work after three weeks, but felt like a bit of a slacker for waiting that long. I could have started much earlier if I'd had to.

I was impressed that my period showed up exactly four weeks after the surgery. To the day. A year and a half later the scar's almost invisible.
posted by tangerine at 2:54 PM on April 9, 2006

Lupron shots can keep it in check, if you want to avoid surgical procedures such as lumpectomy and hysterectomy. I believe RU-486 is also used to treat fibroids. Talk to your OB/GYN.
posted by Devils Slide at 4:54 PM on April 9, 2006

Btw, birth control pills can be helpful too.
posted by Devils Slide at 4:55 PM on April 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice so far. The Time article led to a site that confirmed that focused ultrasound is not available in Canada just yet. Strike that one from my list.

I may not be quite ready for a hysterectomy, although removing 1, 2 or 3 cancer prone areas does have a certain appeal.

I had thought one of the reasons for avoiding myomectomies, beside the fact that this does involve real abdominal surgery and a prolonged absence from work that I can ill afford, was the risk of adhesions. This hasn't been an issue for either of you?

I'll look into Lupron and RU-486 next: thanks!
posted by rosemere at 9:53 PM on April 9, 2006

Response by poster: Oh, and putzface_dickman (and the Mrs.), I did see that earlier thread (nothing there about FUS, my former first choice) and read about your experience with acupuncture. PubMed was a lot less optimistic about that method, but I'll ask around anyway. I've had acupuncture as part of physiotherapy and found it very helpful.
posted by rosemere at 9:55 PM on April 9, 2006

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