What is a Myomectomy?
A myomectomy is a procedure that removes fibroids from the uterus while still leaving the uterus intact.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that typically develop during childbearing years. These masses can distort or expand the uterus in such a way that becoming pregnant may be difficult since a fertilized egg may not be able to attach to the uterine wall.
In many cases, you may not experience any symptoms from fibroids. They are discovered through a pelvic exam or ultrasound. When fibroids are symptomatic, common issues include:
- Abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding
- Frequent urination
- Pelvic pain
Your doctor may recommend removing fibroids if you are planning to bear children or you are having difficulty getting pregnant.
Why Would a Myomectomy be Performed Over a Hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy Advantages & Disadvantages
A hysterectomy is a surgery that removes the entire uterus. Since this surgery eliminates the possibility of becoming pregnant, this option is usually only recommended for women who have reached menopause. If this procedure is performed before a woman has reached menopause, the patient may experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other menopause-like symptoms.
Myomectomy Advantages & Disadvantages
Since this surgery does not remove the uterus, a myomectomy is typically performed on younger women with fibroid issues who may want to become pregnant in the future. After a myomectomy, the patient’s chance of getting pregnant is increased, but not guaranteed.
Types of Myomectomy Surgery
The type of myomectomy that a patient receives depends on the location, number and size of the fibroids. There are three main ways this procedure can be performed:
Fibroids are removed through an incision in the lower abdomen. This method requires anesthesia and will require a hospital stay that lasts one to four days.
Laparoscopic or Robotic-Assisted Myomectomy using da Vinci
Tiny incisions will be made at the belly button, lower abdomen and both hips. Fibroids will be removed by small camera-guided instruments that are inserted into the incisions. This method will require anesthesia and will result in a shorter hospital stay than an abdominal mymoectomy – typically one or two days.
Fibroids will be removed with an instrument that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus. While patients will usually be asleep for this surgery, it is an out-patient procedure that usually requires only a few hours of observation. Recovery can be done at home.