Abdominal MyomectomyAn abdominal myomectomy is an open surgery used to treat uterine fibroids.
Abdominal myomectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove symptomatic uterine fibroids in women. Traditionally, a hysterectomy—the complete removal of the uterus and sometimes other parts of the reproductive system—was the go-to treatment for fibroids. However, a doctor may recommend an abdominal myomectomy based on your symptoms, the size, location and number of fibroids in your uterus and whether you want to maintain your uterus for future pregnancy or any other reason.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Abdominal Myomectomy?Myomectomy treats uterine fibroids, an extremely common condition among women of childbearing age. Also known as leiomyomas or myomas, these non-cancerous growths can appear in the various layers in and around the uterus. Fibroids can be very small or as large as a grapefruit. Abdominal myomectomy is typically the best option for extremely large fibroids.
Fibroids may not cause symptoms, but for many women, menstruation can be difficult. Heavy bleeding (with blood clots larger than a quarter), pelvic pain and pressure and other symptoms can arise. Plus, depending on the size, location and quantity of fibroids, a woman’s ability to carry a successful pregnancy can be affected.
Abdominal myomectomy begins with a large incision in the abdominal wall. The process typically follows these steps:
- A surgeon makes the abdominal incision. It may be vertical, between the belly button and the bikini line, or horizontal, along the bikini line.
- The surgeon access the uterus and removes the fibroids from the uterine wall.
- The uterine muscle is sewn back together and the incision closed.
What to Expect
Abdominal myomectomy is a major surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia and up to a two night stay in a hospital. Following the procedure, you may experience mild cramping, pain and light vaginal bleeding for up to several weeks.
Abdominal myomectomy generally has few complications to worry about, but there are still risks to consider, such as:
- Excessive blood loss, enough to warrant a transfusion
- A bad reaction to anesthesia Infection
- Scar tissue
- Complications with future pregnancies or childbirths (your doctor may recommend that you deliver a baby via C-section after a myomectomy)
- The rare chance of needing to remove the uterus entirely if excessive bleeding or other problems arise
How Effective is Abdominal Myomectomy?
For certain candidates, an abdominal myomectomy is a highly effective procedure to reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with uterine fibroids. Because it is a fertility-sparing procedure, most women are able to have children in the future, which a hysterectomy would not allow.
The surgeons at Tampa General Hospital expertly perform all types of gynecological surgeries, including abdominal myomectomy. We take a multidisciplinary approach to women’s care and ensure that our patients’ wants and needs are considered fully before any fibroid treatment recommendation.