Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterine walls. While fibroids are benign, they can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that disrupt a woman’s life. Fibroids vary in size, ranging from as small as a pea to the size of a grapefruit and, in some rare cases, much larger. Dr. Jehangir diagnoses fibroids based on her patients’ descriptions of symptoms, blood work, and diagnostic imaging services like ultrasounds and MRIs.
Uterine fibroids can produce a number of symptoms that get in the way of a woman’s normal daily activities. One of the most commonly experienced symptoms is heavy periods. A heavy period is defined as one that requires a woman to change her tampon or sanitary towel more than once an hour for several hours. Women with heavy periods due to fibroids also have periods often accompanied by debilitating menstrual cramping that prevents a woman from going to work or attending school because of the pain. Women with fibroids may also experience disrupted menstrual cycles, swelling or distension in the abdomen, or frequent urination. Fibroids also may cause fertility issues. Women may struggle to conceive naturally, have an increased chance of having a high-risk pregnancy, and have a higher likelihood of requiring a cesarean section delivery. In some cases, if left untreated, fibroids can also lead to infertility.
Dr. Jehangir offers a range of treatments for fibroids based on each patient’s specific condition. In some cases, fibroids may be managed with medication to control the growth and manage the associated symptoms. In other cases, where medication isn’t effective or if the fibroids are large, surgery may be necessary to remove the growths. The procedure used to remove fibroids is called a myomectomy. During this procedure, the fibroids are removed from the uterus, while preserving the organ’s integrity and potential for bearing children. Whenever possible, Dr. Jehangir performs a myomectomy with minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as laparoscopy or the Da Vinci® robotic surgery system. Minimally invasive surgery involves decreased risks for the patient and improved outcomes, including quicker recovery and reduced scarring.