Fibroid Removal Surgery in South Africa
Thanks to rapid medical advances, it is safe and even pain-free to have fibroid removal surgery in South Africa.
There are different types of fibroid removal surgery options and each is discussed in more detail below. Whether or not you require fibroid removal surgery and which type of surgery you will require will depend on a number of issues, which are also considered below.
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:
Surgery for uterine tumours can involve removing the entire uterus, known as a hysterectomy. This surgery is now also performed through one or more small incisions, using laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
It is the only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of fibroids and can improve quality of life for many women. However, while a hysterectomy is a proven way to get rid of fibroids, it may not be the best choice for every woman.
A hysterectomy is only recommended for women who have no future pregnancy plans. If you hope to become pregnant later, it is important to consider alternatives to a hysterectomy like a myomectomy.
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.
If the fibroids are inside the uterus and are preventing a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus, then removing the fibroids may improve your chances of having a baby. Removing fibroids in other locations of the uterus may not improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
A myomectomy can be done by using instruments inserted through one or more small incisions through the vagina and cervix into the uterus, or through a larger abdominal cut, or by laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
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—through your vagina and cervix and into the uterus to directly examine the interior of your uterus, while you are under a very light anaesthetic. During the procedure, the fertility specialist may inflate your uterus with gas or saline liquid to get a better view of the uterine interior.
With a clear view of the inside of your uterus, a fertility specialist can remove the fibroids. This surgical option is only applicable where fibroids are present inside the uterine cavity or directly below the uterine lining.
You don’t need to have an incision with a hysteroscopy, and most women recover within an hour or two. The procedure is practically pain free and patients can go back to work within a few days.
A hysteroscopy is not only used to identify and remove non-cancerous growths found in the uterus like fibroids and polyps. It is also used to remove uterine adhesions – bands of scar tissue that may lead to changes in menstrual flow as well as infertility. In addition, a hysteroscopy can help determine whether you have a uterine septum – a malformation of the uterus that is present from birth. It can also help identify the cause of abnormal bleeding, such as heavy or lengthy menstrual flow, as well as bleeding between periods or after menopause. Endometrial ablation is one procedure in which the hysteroscope, along with other instruments, is used to destroy the uterine lining in order to treat some causes of heavy bleeding.
Which Fibroid Removal Surgery is Right for Me?
Given all the options for fibroid removal surgery, you might be wondering how you will choose the right option for you.
Firstly, 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.
But, because fibroids can range in size from seedlings, undetectable by the human eye, to bulky masses that can distort and enlarge the uterus, and can be single or multiple – 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.
Whether they 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.
For example, fibroids can be so tiny that a microscope is required to see them. They can also grow so large, they can fill the entire uterus and weigh several pounds. In addition, although it is possible for just one fibroid to develop, usually there are more than one.
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.
In terms of the role fibroids play in infertility, surgically removing fibroids that prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus will 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.
There are so many factors that come into play when choosing the right fibroid removal surgery option, that there is only one way to be certain you are making the right choice: a consultation with a fertility specialist.
During your 30 – 60 minute initial consultation at Medfem Fertility Clinic, you will meet one of our four highly qualified and experienced fertility specialists, who will discuss with you your medical history, conduct a comprehensive physical exam and blood tests, explain your treatment options, answer all your questions, and plan your treatments with you.
At our accredited and purpose-designed medical facility, our Medfem fertility specialists have access to the latest technologies, such as ultrasound; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); hysterosonography; Hysterosalpingography (HSG); hysteroscopy and laparoscopy to make an accurate diagnosis to determine if fibroid removal surgery is necessary, as well as the advanced equipment and skill to offer you all the fibroid removal surgery options, so you can choose the option that is right for you.
It is also great to know that 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.
Simply click here or contact us on +27 (11) 463 2244 to book your initial consultation.
We look forward to welcoming you.