Fibroid Surgery Types and Recovery Tips

Fibroids are tumors that occur within the reproductive system of women. The symptoms of fibroids range from moderate to severe and differ from one woman to another. While some fibroids go away on their own, others may require surgical removal. The type of surgery depends on several factors including tumor size, its location and the number of tumors. There are a number of procedures to choose from and your doctor should advice you on the risks, possible side effects and the expected recovery time.

Types of Fibroid Surgery

To most women, the uterine fibroids have mild to moderate symptoms which do not really need surgery or any substantial treatment. Such patients are advised to wait indefinitely and no treatment is required. There are, however, severe conditions such as heavy bleeding that lead to anemia and blockage of the ureters from large fibroids, pelvic pain, and incontinence that interfere with day-to-day life. These conditions will need surgery to remove the tumors.

The good news is that technological advancements have made the surgical removal of fibroids much simpler than before. The main surgical options available to patients with fibroids are:

Endometrial Ablation

This procedure is used to remove tiny tumors in the uterus and involves destroying the lining of the uterus. The procedure can be done in either of two ways:

  • A thermal balloon that has been heated to a certain temperature
  • Microwave energy using a special tool to destroy the lining of the uterus

Pregnancy is unlikely after this procedure, but it can happen. Women that manage to conceive after the procedure, however, have a higher risk of getting a miscarriage or other complications. Your healthcare provider will give you more information about this procedure and advise you on the best cause of action.


This procedure is preferable for women who plan to get pregnant in future. Myomectomy removes the fibroids only, leaving the other healthy parts intact. There are three ways in which this procedure can be carried out depending on the size and location of the fibroids. These are:

  • Hysteroscopy – This procedure involves injecting a particular fluid to make it easier for the doctor to see what is happening. An elongated slender telescope with light is then inserted into the uterus through the vagina and a mechanical or electrical device is used to destroy the fibroids.
  • Laparotomy – A surgical cut will be made in the abdomen through which the fibroids will be removed.
  • Laparoscopy – This fibroid surgery involves the insertion of a telescope into the pelvic region by making two abdominal incisions. Another tool is then used to remove the fibroids.

Studies have shown that myomectomy has 80 to 90 percent effectiveness, and the removed fibroids are unlikely to regrow. However, new fibroids can still grow.


The procedure is recommended for patients experiencing severe symptoms of fibroids such as heavy bleeding, and where the tumors are large. Hysterectomy is the only known way that cures uterine fibroids in finality and is highly recommended for women who are approaching menopause or have already passed through it. It involves removing the whole or part of the uterus. There are three types of hysterectomy:

  • Subtotal, or partial hysterectomy – This procedure involves removing the top part of the uterus only.
  • Total hysterectomy – It involves removing the whole uterus and cervix.In some cases, it calls for removing the ovaries and also the uterine tubes as well.
  • Radical hysterectomy – This surgery involves removal of the uterus, the cervix as well as the vagina.

Talk to your doctor if you are thinking of undergoing a hysterectomy. Your doctor will be able to advise you about keeping your ovaries which are essential in maintaining normal bone density (through the hormones that they produce) and sexual health. Your body will function properly with the ovaries even though the uterus has been removed. Be entirely sure of your decision to have a hysterectomy fibroid surgery because the process is irreversible.

Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE)

UAE is a relatively new procedure that is an alternative to open surgeries to remove fibroids. This technique involves blocking the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink and die eventually. It also reduces menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure and pain as well as constipation.

UAE is performed in a radiology room and involves inserting a UV line while the patient is sedated although you will be awake but drowsy during the procedure. A needle is injected through an artery and a catheter is placed into the artery. X-rays are then done in a procedure called arteriogram.

The catheter is used to inject tiny particles called polyvinyl alcohol that block blood flow. Another arteriogram is performed to make sure the procedure was successful. The fibroids will then lack oxygen due to lack of blood and begin to shrink and eventually die. This process takes from few days to months.

The fibroids shrink by up to 50% while the uterus shrinks by up to 40%. The procedure is found is 80 to 90 percent effective in reducing symptoms although in some women it has been found to be less effective. Besides, cases of severe complications from UAE are also minimal at about 4%.

How to Support Uterine Health After Fibroid Removal

It is always advisable to maintain healthy practices such as the following after a fibroid surgery to prevent growth of new ones:

  • Avoid fibroid triggers in your diet – There are certain foods such as red meat, excess soy and non-organic dairy that may lead to the imbalance of estrogen in your body. Excess estrogen can trigger the growth of fibroids. Instead, go for a low-fat and vegetable diet which has been found to reduce the risk of fibroid growth significantly.
  • Reduce caffeine – Too much caffeine is not good for you if you are prone to fibroids because it increases production of estrogen.
  • Consider uterine health herbs – There are certain herbs that improve uterine health. Herbs such as dandelion help promote a healthy hormonal balance through cleansing the liver. Fibro Defense is an amazing herbal medication that reduces chances of fibroid growth in the uterus significantly.
  • Employ systemic enzyme therapy – Systemic enzymes such as Wobenzym N., work throughout the body systems and organs not just the digestive system. They help boost immunity and normalize scar tissue after a surgery. They also offer support when you are trying to get pregnant.
  • Practice self-fertility massage – This massage should be conducted after a surgery and only when the incision has healed completely. The self-fertility massage is a new technology that can help boost fertility and enhance the reproductive health after surgery. It helps increase circulation of blood into the uterus as well as break up fibrin (the scar tissue).
  • Utilize castor oil packs – These incredible packs contribute to improving circulation to the uterus and reduce mild discomforts associated with surgery. These packs can also improve uterine health. But seek your doctor’s advice before using them.