Who Should I Talk To About Treating Fibroids?

January 31, 2013

Fibroids offer an unusually high amount of treatment options in comparison to some diseases, thus making the question “Who should I talk to about treating fibroids?” more complicated than questions about certain other health issues.

Discussion With Physician

If fibroids have already been detected, the doctor who first found them may have immediately performed further examination or scheduled a lab appointment. As treatment options may vary depending on the number and size of the fibroids, an examination should be scheduled if it has not already been performed, with a particular emphasis on determining if the fibroids are cancerous or not. Once this has been performed, the best option in most cases is to talk to a physician who has experience with fibroids to discuss the various treatment options. Fibroids are common enough that most physicians will have at least some personal familiarity or know where to send referrals.


Treatment Options

Once the immediate question of “Who should I talk to about treating fibroids?” has been answered, there are a number of questions that can be asked. Multiple treatment options exist, though asking for the physician’s recommendation is often a good place to begin. However, it is important to remember that the treatment options range from major effects on the body to treatments as minor as merely treating the symptoms. Regardless of what the physician recommends, asking about the treatment’s effects can help a patient determine whether they feel that particular treatment is more invasive than they are comfortable with. As fibroids are almost always non-cancerous growths, a major procedure may not be necessary.

The mildest treatment is to simply observe, as fibroids will generally disappear during menopause due to hormone changes in the body. A Myomectomy will remove the fibroids while leaving the uterus intact, though this is more effective for a smaller number of larger growths than for many smaller fibroids. A Uterine Fibroid Embolization may also be an option; this procedure will effectively starve the fibroids of nutrients and kill them off, with an average recovery time of one week or less. Similar procedures work with techniques such as ultrasound or electricity; not all procedures may be available in all areas. The most extreme technique is a hysterectomy, where the entire uterus is removed. As a major surgical procedure that will have significant effects on the body, this is rarely the best option, but it may be recommended in the small percent of cases where fibroids are cancerous. It may also be a choice where future fertility is not necessary, and is the only technique that will guarantee the avoidance of future problems.

Each procedure offers various benefits and limitations, such as the length of stay in the hospital, post-operative treatment, and amount of time when sexual activity should not be performed. Treatments should not be chosen solely on the type of technique used, but also by the other effects they will have, including those not associated directly with the procedure itself. Patients may wish to write down a list of questions to ask their physician during the appointment to help ensure they do not forget any important questions. By having these and other questions in hand, asking, “Who should I talk to about treating fibroids” becomes a much simpler matter and the treatments can proceed.

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