Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors occurring in at least one quarter of all women. They can grow underneath the uterine lining, inside the uterine wall, or outside the uterus.
Many women don't feel any symptoms with uterine tumors or fibroids. But for others, these fibroids can cause excessive menstrual bleeding (also called menorrhagia), abnormal periods, uterine bleeding, pain, discomfort, frequent urination and infertility.
Treatments include uterine fibroid embolization - which shrinks the tumor - and uterine fibroid surgery. Uterine fibroid surgery most often involves the surgeon removing the entire uterus, via hysterectomy.
While hysterectomy is a proven way to resolve fibroids, it may not be the best surgical treatment for every woman. If, for example, you hope to later become pregnant, you may want to consider alternatives to hysterectomy like myomectomy. Myomectomy is a uterine-preserving procedure performed to remove uterine fibroids.
The conventional approach to uterine fibroid surgery is an open surgery myomectomy, through a large abdominal incision. After cutting around and removing each uterine fibroid, the surgeon must carefully repair the uterine wall to minimize potential uterine bleeding, infection and scarring. Proper repair is also critical after uterine fibroid surgery to reduce the risk of uterine rupture during future pregnancies.
While myomectomy is also performed laparoscopically, this approach can be challenging for the surgeon, and may compromise results compared to open surgery.
A new category of minimally invasive uterine fibroid surgery, da Vinci® Myomectomy, combines the best of open and laparoscopic surgery.
With the assistance of the da Vinci® Surgical System - the latest evolution in robotics technology - surgeons may remove uterine fibroids through small incisions with unmatched precision and control.
Among the potential benefits of da Vinci surgery as compared to traditional open abdominal surgery are:
da Vinci surgery allows your surgeon to perform a minimally invasive, yet remarkably precise, comprehensive reconstruction of the uterine wall, regardless of the size or location of your fibroids. The unique level of control and precision provided by da Vinci surgery also can help your surgeon give the most precise and thorough reconstruction possible, helping to prevent possible uterine rupture (tearing) during future pregnancies.
If you are a candidate for myomectomy, talk to an EvergreenHealth surgeon who performs da Vinci myomectomy. To find a surgeon, you can:
For additional information on the da Vinci Myomectomy:
As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While myomectomy performed using the da Vinci Surgical System is considered safe and effective, this procedure may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.