The Cost of Removing Fibroids in South Africa

Removing fibroids is one way of treating this common medical condition, which can severely impact a woman’s quality of life through a range of symptoms, and can even cause infertility.

For these women, the cost of removing fibroids is a small price to pay to regain their health and fertility. However, the actual medical costs will vary from one woman to another, because it is based on a number of variables, which are discussed in this article, along with the different treatment options, which will also affect the cost.

Medical treatment to remove fibroids has improved the quality of life for millions of women, and helped many others achieve a successful pregnancy. As with all medical treatments, fibroid removal involves certain costs.

It is not possible to give a definite number, as these costs will vary widely from one woman to another, based on a number of variables. These include, for example, the type of fibroids, how big they are, how fast they grow, and where they grow. Whether or not you want to become pregnant now or in future will also affect the treatment and therefor the costs.

In addition, there are different surgery options for removing fibroids. Which one of these options is most suitable for you would also depend on various factors – and, as a result, entail different medical costs.

A look at the variables that affect whether or not you require fibroid removal surgery, as well as the different surgery options for removing fibroids, if necessary, will help you better understand the costs involved.

Correct diagnosis

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.

These advanced diagnostic tools allow fertility specialists to determine the exact type, size, and position of fibroids. This will not only confirm whether or not you need fibroid removal surgery, but also which type of surgery for removing fibroids is required.

Ultrasound diagnosis is very accurate, using sound waves to generate an image of the uterus, making it possible to confirm the diagnosis and to map and measure fibroids.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that identifies different types of tumours, measures the size and location of fibroids, and helps 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 (lining of the uterus).
Hysterosalpingography (HSG) uses a dye to highlight the uterine cavity on X-ray images, revealing fibroids.

A hysteroscopy involves a tiny, lighted telescope called a hysteroscope being inserted through the cervix into the uterus along with a saline to expand the uterine cavity, allowing the walls of the uterus to be examined.

A laparoscopy involves a long thin scope being inserted into a tiny incision made in or near the navel. The scope has a light and camera, enabling the uterus and other organs to be viewed on a monitor and images to be captured.

Is it always necessary to remove fibroids?

Fibroids or uterine tumours are quite common as women age, especially during their 30’s and 40’s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.

Not all fibroids need to be removed. This is because many women don’t feel any symptoms with fibroids.

However, for many other women who are experiencing poor quality of life due to fibroids, removing the fibroids may be the only solution. This is because the symptoms that fibroids can cause include excessive menstrual bleeding, prolonged or abnormal periods, pelvic pressure or pain, uterine bleeding, frequent urination, backache or leg pains, and pain during sex.

Fibroids can also cause infertility and miscarriages. 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. To improve the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy, these fibroids may need to be surgically removed. 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, determined through regular follow-up evaluations with a fertility specialist.

If it is necessary to remove fibroids surgically, the good news is that there are a number of treatment options available.

Treatment options for removing fibroids

Open surgery: This traditional way of removing fibroids is now seldom used, because it requires hospitalisation and extended time off work.

Hysterectomy, or uterus removal: This is the only fibroid treatment that prevents regrowth of fibroids, but is not recommended for women who may want to fall pregnant in future.

Myomectomy, or fibroid removal: During a myomectomy, surgeons remove the fibroids but not the uterus. As such, a myomectomy is the surgical option of choice for women who want to retain their fertility.

Laparoscopic surgery: this minimally invasive surgery can remove most fibroids very effectively. The patient goes home on the same day and back to work one week after surgery. Laparoscopy done through one or more small incisions through the vagina, or through a larger abdominal incision, can be used to perform both a hysterectomy and a myomectomy.

Hysteroscopic surgery: During this procedure, completed under a very light anaesthetic, a fertility specialist passes a hysteroscope (a narrow, telescope-like instrument with a camera on the end) into the uterus to remove the fibroids. It is only used where fibroids are present inside the uterine cavity or directly below the uterine lining.

Which one of the ways in which fibroids can be removed is best for you will depend on a number of issues, for example, your condition; what type of fibroids you have, where they are located, how big they are, and how fast they are growing in the uterus; and whether you hope to become pregnant in future.

Where to go to remove fibroids

Surgical procedures of any type should only be performed at an accredited facility with significant expertise, as well as advanced equipment.

Our Medfem Fertility Clinic specialists are experts and global leaders in minimally invasive surgery. Medfem Fertility Clinic 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.

We are a committed and understanding team of medical professionals, with the experience, knowledge and desire to provide you with the best chance of a successful outcome at the end of your treatment.

Since the 1980’s, Medfem Fertility Clinic’s team has assisted couples struggling with infertility to experience the joy of parenthood, helping to bring more than 18,000 babies into the world.

If you would like to meet one of our fertility specialists, simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

Our Fertility Specialists can also meet with You During a Virtual Consultation Via Zoom or Skype. Click here to book a virtual consultation now.

We look forward to meeting you!

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