Fibroids are the most common tumors found in the female reproductive system. They are tumors composed of connective tissue and smooth muscle cells. These tumors develop in the uterus and vary in size. In some cases, fibroids can grow very large and cause the abdomen to swell considerably.
Researchers haven’t been able to determine the exact cause of fibroid tumors. However, certain women are more likely to develop these tumors than others. Fibroid tumors are more common among women who are close to menopause, as well as those who are obese. In addition, women with African-American heritage may be at a higher risk of developing fibroids.
Some women with fibroids may not experience any symptoms. However, other women may notice:
In some cases, fibroid tumors may grow large enough to be felt from the outside.
If a patient comes in with the symptoms of fibroids, Dr. Mayer will order a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the tests he’ll use to diagnose fibroids include endometrial biopsy, hysterosalpingogram, hysteroscopy, transvaginal ultrasound, and x-ray.
A variety of treatments are available to patients with fibroid tumors. In cases where the tumor isn’t causing any symptoms, the patient may opt for no treatment. Patients with mild or occasional symptoms can often control pain with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
In cases where the symptoms of fibroid tumors are more severe, Dr. Mayer may recommend surgical therapies, including uterine artery embolization, myomectomy, or hysterectomy. In addition, some tumors may respond to hormonal therapies.
Each of the treatments available for fibroid tumors offers different advantages. Dr. Mayer will explain each of these options in detail and discuss their implications so that patients can make the best choice for them. In many cases, the choice of treatment will depend on the size of the tumor, the severity of the symptoms, and the patient’s desire for future pregnancy.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!