Myomectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove uterine fibroids, or benign growths within the uterus. Fibroids, typically composed of muscle cells or other uterine tissue, grow inside (and occasionally outside) the uterine wall. Fibroids are quite common in women of childbearing age; between 20% and 80% of women develop them at some point.
Some fibroids are tiny, but others may grow to 8 inches or more in diameter. Often, fibroids never cause a problem, but sometimes they can lead to excessive bleeding and abdominal pain. Depending on where a fibroid is located, it can also make it hard to become pregnant.
In addition to pain and bleeding, signs and symptoms of fibroids include:
- Frequent urination
- Pain during intercourse
Women Planning to Become Pregnant
Even if fibroids are not highly symptomatic, women may be advised to have them removed if they’re planning to become pregnant, due to possible complications of pregnancy. Fibroids are associated with the need for:
- Caesarean section
- Breech positioning
- Placental abruption (the placenta breaking away from the uterine wall)
- Early delivery
- Failure of labor to progress
Myomectomy, while not a complete solution for fibroids, is a popular treatment that spares fertility.
What to Expect
During a myomectomy, the physician removes fibroids while leaving healthy tissue in place. Several approaches can be used to perform myomectomy, depending on the location of the fibroids.