Myomectomy is a procedure performed by gynecologists to remove fibroids from your uterus. Here, we discuss how the procedure can be performed, as well as some of the reasons why it may be recommended.
When Is Myomectomy Recommended?
Also known as leiomyomas, uterine fibroids often develop during childbearing age. The goal of myomectomy surgery is to remove fibroids — which are muscular tumors — that are causing lifestyle challenges. For example, doctors may recommend the procedure to women who experience persistently uncomfortable symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, pain during sex, and lower back pain.
In some cases, uterine fibroids may also interfere with the ability to become pregnant. While a hysterectomy can be performed to remove fibroids and alleviate their symptoms by removing your uterus altogether, myomectomy is preferred for women who plan to have children, as the process aims to keep your uterus intact.
How Is a Myomectomy Performed?
Myomectomy can be performed in several ways — including in some cases, robotically. The precise method used will depend on factors such as the type, size, and location of your fibroids. Here are the most common approaches.
Certain fibroids may be removed laparoscopically. In this procedure, several small incisions are made in your lower abdomen. Then, a small, lighted device called a laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing surgeons to see the reproductive organs. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the other incisions and used to remove the fibroids.
With this minimally invasive procedure, recovery tends to be shorter and easier than open, or abdominal, myectomy. In most cases, patients can anticipate a full recovery within two to three weeks.
In some cases, hysteroscopic myomectomy may be performed instead. With no need for incisions, a camera with a specialized attachment is inserted through the vagina. This surgery is quick and also typically requires a short recovery time, although is best suited for submucous or intracavitary myomas that are easily reached and seen.
An abdominal myomectomy is performed via a horizontal or vertical incision in your abdomen. Because it is more invasive, this procedure is typically reserved for fibroids that are large or deeply embedded within your uterus. In some cases, a surgeon may start out with a laparoscopic surgery and switch to an abdominal procedure if they find that the fibroids are larger or more firmly rooted in the uterus than previously thought.
Recovery after an abdominal myomectomy is similar to the process of healing after any major surgery. Patients will need to avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting, and full recovery may take four to six weeks.
No matter which type of myomectomy you need to receive, the process is typically performed under general anesthesia. While laparoscopic and hysteroscopic myomectomies tend to be outpatient procedures, an abdominal myomectomy generally requires a hospital stay of one to two days.
If you think you could be experiencing uterine fibroids or you have other gynecological concerns you’d like to discuss, turn to our providers for high-quality, compassionate care. Our experienced surgeons perform both in-office procedures as well as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy surgeries. Schedule an appointment online or by calling 404-352-2850.