Fibroid Removal Surgery in South Africa – What does it Cost?
It is difficult to put a price tag on a better quality of life or the chance of having your own baby. However, as with all medical treatments, fibroid removal surgery, which has improved the quality of life for so many women, and helped many others achieve a successful pregnancy, does involve certain costs.
These costs will vary from one woman to another, based on a number variables, such as the size and growth rate of the fibroids, what type of fibroids are growing and where they are positioned, as well as whether or not you want to become pregnant now or in future.
In addition, there are different fibroid removal surgery options, and which one of the options would be more suitable for you also depends on various factors – and, as a result, entail different medical costs.
Remember, too, that surgical procedures of any kind should only be performed at an accredited facility with significant expertise in terms of medical, nursing, scientific and pathology staff, as well as advanced equipment.
A look at the variables that affect whether or not you require fibroid removal surgery, as well as the different fibroid removal surgery options will help you understand the costs involved.
What Affects the Cost of Fibroid Removal Surgery?
The only way to ensure that the costs of fibroid removal surgery brings the result you want and is excellent value for money, is an accurate, expert diagnosis.
At Medfem Fertility Clinic, your first consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced fertility specialists will entail a review of your medical history and previous tests, a comprehensive infertility work up including a physical exam, and in-depth explanations and answers to all your questions.
During this first appointment of 30 minutes to an hour, your fertility specialist will also order additional investigations and tests if required.
Fibroids can usually – but not always – be felt by gynaecological examination. Irregularities in the shape of your uterus may be felt, suggesting the presence of fibroids.
However, a more accurate diagnosis can be made through modern technologies such as ultrasound, MRI, hysterosonography, hysterosalpingography (HSG), hysteroscopy or laparoscopy. Each one is discussed in more detail below.
Ultrasound diagnosis is very accurate, using sound waves to get a picture of your uterus to confirm the diagnosis and to map and measure fibroids.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that can show the size and location of fibroids, identify different types of tumours and help determine treatment options.
A hysterosonography uses sterile saline to expand the uterine cavity, making it easier to get images of the uterine cavity and endometrium.
Hysterosalpingography (HSG) uses a dye to highlight the uterine cavity on X-ray images, revealing fibroids.
During a hysteroscopy, a tiny, lighted telescope called a hysteroscope is inserted through your cervix into your uterus and a saline injected to expand the uterine cavity, allowing the walls of your uterus to be examined.
A laparoscopy involves a long thin scope which is inserted into a tiny incision made in or near the navel. The scope has a bright light and a camera, enabling the uterus and other organs to be viewed on a monitor and images to be captured.
Through these advanced diagnostic tools, your fertility specialists can determine the exact size, position and type of fibroids. This will not only confirm whether or not you need fibroid removal surgery, but also which type of fibroid removal surgery is required.
Is Fibroid Removal Surgery necessary?
Not all fibroids need to be removed. Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during their 30’s and 40’s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink. Many women don’t feel any symptoms with uterine tumours or fibroids.
For other women who are experiencing poor quality of life due to fibroids, removal may be the only solution. Fibroids can cause excessive menstrual bleeding, prolonged or abnormal periods, pelvic pressure or pain, uterine bleeding, frequent urination, backache or leg pains, pain during sex, and infertility.
Fibroids can also cause infertility. If you are trying to become pregnant and you have fibroids in certain parts of your uterus, these fibroids will prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. These fibroids may need to be surgically removed to improve the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. However, removing fibroids in other locations of the uterus may not improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
Whether fibroids need to be removed or not will depend on the position, size and growth rate, as determined by regular follow-up evaluations by a fertility specialist.
If it is necessary to surgically remove fibroids, which one of the fibroid removal surgery options is best for you will depends on a number of issues, for example, your condition, including where, how big, and what type of fibroid is growing in the uterus and whether you hope to become pregnant in future.
Types of Fibroid Removal Surgery
This has been the traditional way of removing fibroids. Because it requires hospitalisation and a long period of time away from work, this option is now seldom used.
Hysterectomy, or uterus removal:
A hysterectomy is the only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of fibroids, but is only recommended for women who have no future pregnancy plans.
Myomectomy, or fibroid removal:
During a myomectomy, surgeons remove the fibroids but not your uterus. As such, a myomectomy is the surgical option of choice for women who want to retain their fertility.
Most fibroids can be removed very effectively through so-called keyhole surgery during which the fibroids are cut up in small pieces inside the pelvis and removed laparoscopically. The patient goes home the same day and back to work one week after surgery.
Both a hysterectomy and a myomectomy can be done through one or more small incisions using laparoscopy, through the vagina, or through a larger abdominal incision.
A hysteroscopy is a procedure where the fertility specialist passes a hysteroscope – a narrow, telescope-like instrument with a camera on the end – into the uterus to remove the fibroids, while you are under a very light anaesthetic. This surgical option is only applicable where fibroids are present inside the uterine cavity or directly below the uterine lining.
Minimally Invasive Surgery:
Our Medfem Fertility Clinic specialists are also experts and leaders in minimally invasive surgery. Medfem is one of the first institutions in South Africa to have developed a fully comprehensive operating theatre with all the necessary equipment to perform minimally invasive surgery.
Research Your Options
The cost of fibroid removal surgery – like with other medical procedures and treatments – can vary considerably. This is both because there are so many factors that affect whether or not surgery is required and what type of surgery is required, and because individual specialists and clinics have varying fee structures.
At some clinics, the costs might be packaged into a total price, while others may, for example, exclude the cost of medications. For this reason, it is important to confirm all costs in writing before proceeding with treatments and check whether certain payments need to be made at a specific time, such as pre-payments before treatment begins. Make sure you understand the services provided, what is included in standard charges and what separate or additional fees apply.
During your initial consultation, your Medfem Fertility Clinic fertility specialist will explain the costs of different treatment components and provide a written quotation based on a clear treatment plan to ensure you have a full view of the cost implications.
The Next Step
The next step is simply to set up your initial consultation – you can click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
We look forward to meeting you!