Fibroids or uterine leiomyomas are the most common benign pelvic tumor in women. They are found in over 80% of women and typically present with symptoms of heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding that leads to anemia. At the very least many women feel pelvic pain/pressure, bloating/fullness or a bulge. Some have pain with menstruation and/or intercourse. Depending on their location, fibroids can also be associated with reproductive dysfunction.
Management of your fibroids depends on several factors:
- The size, number, and location of your fibroids
- The symptoms you have
- Your age
- Whether your fibroids cause so much bleeding that you have anemia
- Whether you are done having children
- How you feel about the risks and benefits of the different options
Treatment options will be discussed during your initial consultation, and many times further work up including an ultrasound are needed. You and Dr. Hawkins will create a plan that you are comfortable with be it surgical or non-surgical.
Dr. Hawkins specializes in minimally invasive surgical (MIG) options to manage uterine fibroids including;
- Resectoscopic resection of submucosal fibroids with or without endometrial ablation
- Da Vinci myomectomy (removal of just fibroids)
- Traditional laparoscopic myomectomy
- Da Vinci hysterectomy (removal of uterus)
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy
Occasionally patients are not good candidates for a minimally invasive approach. Dr. Hawkins is fully qualified and feels confident in removing extremely large or complicated fibroids and uterus through traditional open incision myomectomies or hysterectomy.
With the new FDA ban on power morcellation devices (link to article) our practice has decided to no longer use the device for removal of specimens during myomectomies and hysterectomies. Dr. Hawkins uses a technique that safely removes the uterus through the vagina or through the main laparoscopic incision with a 1-2cm extension. With this technique the risks of leaving pieces of fibroids or the uterus, that potentially carry cancer cells, is minimalized.