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Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Myomectomy, sometimes referred to as fibroidectomy, is a surgery to remove fibroids from the uterus. Unlike a hysterectomy, a myomectomy just removes the fibroids but leaves the uterus intact, meaning you can still get pregnant.
There are different types of myomectomy, depending on the type and size of your fibroids. The most common types of myomectomy are abdominal myomectomy (fibroids removed through an incision in your lower abdomen), laparoscopic myomectomy (fibroids removed through several small incisions) and hysteroscopic myomectomy (where a special scope is used to remove fibroids through the vagina and cervix).
A myomectomy is carried out under a general anaesthetic and you may need several weeks to recover from the surgery, depending on which type of fibroid removal you have.
Although myomectomy is an effective method of fibroid removal, it is not suitable for all types of fibroid. Your gynaecologist will be able to recommend the best fibroids treatment according to the size, number and position of your fibroids.
Words from our clients:
"I was extremely satisfied with the care and treatment I received at the Cadogan Clinic. My surgeon was friendly and informative and explained the procedure fully. My procedure went very well and with the excellent care of the nursing staff, I made a speedy and full recovery. Would recommend to anyone."Eva Berry
"At the beginning before the operation the nurse taking care of me made me feel so comfortable. The surgeon and anesthetist helped me feel so calm. Fantastic before and after treatment"Scarlett Elliott
"The girls on the reception at the clinic were very pleasant and professional. The nurse who took out my stitches after my surgery was just lovely and took me through step by step what she was doing and she also recommended a great cream to use to help with healing."Georgina Nolan
“I was treated with care and provided with thorough knowledge about the procedure I was undertaking. My surgeon was very methodical (a perfectionist) and I felt I received A class treatment."Courtney O'Sullivan
"Outstanding experience from the first appointment to being discharged. Very professional, friendly and a fantastic outcome."Gemma Stevenson
"Reception staff very welcoming and efficient. Both nurses who I dealt with were fantastic, and the whole team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) were friendly but professional, and really put my mind at ease. That I was able to stay later than I perhaps needed after my surgery to fit in with my husbands schedule was greatly appreciated."Emma Davies
Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths made up of muscle and fibrous tissue that develop in or around the uterus (womb). They vary in size from the size of a pea up to the size of a melon. Some women may not even be aware that they have fibroids, but around one in three will experience fibroids symptoms such as heavy or painful periods, abdominal or lower back pain, pain during sex, a frequent need to urinate and constipation. In rare cases, fibroids may cause infertility and problems in pregnancy.
There are three main types of fibroids:
Fibroids are linked to oestrogen production and most commonly found in women aged 30 to 50. Fibroids are less common in women who have had children and women who have been through menopause.
Fibroids are more common in African-Caribbean women and are also more likely to occur in women who are overweight or obese.
Around one in three women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives.
Although most women who have fibroids don’t experience any symptoms at all, around one third will experience one or more of the following symptoms. These can range in severity from mild to severe.
If you are trying to conceive, you may find that the presence of fibroids is making it difficult to get pregnant. Very rarely, fibroids can cause miscarriage. The presence of fibroids while pregnant means it is more likely that you will need a caesarean section to give birth.
If your fibroids are causing you to have heavy periods, this can lead to low iron levels or anaemia.
Fibroids do not always require treatment unless they are causing any of these symptoms. However, they can increase in size over time and fibroids symptoms may change or get worse. Sometimes fibroids may even go away on their own.
A pelvic examination will be carried out to find out if fibroids are present. A doctor will carry out an ultrasound scan by moving a probe over the abdomen or a small ultrasound probe may be inserted into the vagina to look for signs of fibroids.
A hysteroscopy will then be carried out. This diagnostic method involves inserting a small telescope (hysteroscope) into the uterus via the vagina and cervix. This is used to look for fibroids growing inside the womb. It takes around five minutes to carry out, and a local or general anaesthetic may be used, although this is not always needed.
During a laparoscopy, a surgeon will make a small incision in your abdomen in order to examine the organs and tissues inside the abdomen and pelvis using a small telescope with a light source and camera (a laparoscope). The doctor can view these images taken by the camera on a monitor. A general anaesthetic is used for a laparoscopy. This diagnostic method is best for checking for fibroids outside the uterus or sitting in the muscle surrounding the uterus.
Sometimes a small sample of tissue may be removed during a hysteroscopy or laparoscopy for closer examination. This tissue sampling is known as a biopsy.
You are suitable for fibroid removal if one or more of the following are true:
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The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us
We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journeyThe Patient Journey
Why do fibroids develop?
It is not fully understood why fibroids develop, but they have been linked to levels of oestrogen, the female reproductive hormone which is produced by the ovaries
Fibroids usually develop during a woman's reproductive years when oestrogen levels are at their highest. This is between the ages of 16 and 50, although fibroids are more common in women aged between 30 and 50. Fibroids tend to shrink when oestrogen samples are low, for example after menopause. Women who are overweight or obese have higher oestrogen levels, meaning they are at a greater risk of developing fibroids.
What happens when fibroids go untreated?
In rare cases, fibroids may cause significant problems, depending on their size and location.
Pregnant women with fibroids are at risk of miscarriage or premature labour. If you have a particularly large fibroid blocking the vagina, it may be necessary to deliver the baby via C-section instead of vaginally. Sometimes fibroids may also lead to problems with the baby’s development in the uterus.
Fibroids can also be responsible for infertility, preventing a fertilised egg attaching to the uterine lining or even preventing fertilisation itself.
A submucosal fibroid, which grows from the muscle wall into the cavity of the uterus, may block a fallopian tube and prevent the egg from travelling into the uterus.
What is the best treatment for fibroids?
There are various fibroid treatments available, including non-surgical methods, medications to shrink the fibroids and medications to relieve the symptoms of heavy, painful periods.
However surgery is the most effective way of getting rid of fibroids. A myomectomy can successfully remove fibroids from the uterine wall. It is a good alternative to a hysterectomy as it means you will be able to keep your uterus and have children if you want to.
A myomectomy is not suitable for all types of fibroid, but your doctor will be able to advise if the procedure is suitable for you.
Is a myomectomy a major surgery?
Myomectomy can be a major surgery, depending on which surgical technique your surgeon opts for. A myomectomy is carried out under a general anaesthetic and recovery times vary from two to three days for a hysteroscopic myomectomy to four to six weeks for an abdominal myomectomy (open surgery). A laparoscopic myomectomy has a recovery time of two to four weeks. Your surgeon will discuss which surgical technique is best suited to meet your needs.
How much does a private myomectomy cost?
A private myomectomy in the UK costs anywhere between £5,000 and £10,000. This depends on the type of myomectomy surgery and what else is included in the treatment package.
If you choose the Cadogan Clinic for your fibroid removal in London, you will get:
What is the recovery time from a myomectomy?
The recovery time for a myomectomy varies depending on the type of surgical technique used.
It takes around two to three days to recover from a hysteroscopic myomectomy, two to four weeks recovery from a laparoscopic myomectomy and four to six weeks from an abdominal myomectomy.
You can expect some light vaginal spotting (bleeding) or staining for anywhere from a few days up to six weeks after your fibroid treatment.
You should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting until the incisions have fully healed. You may have to wait up to six weeks before having sex after surgery and three to six weeks before trying to conceive. These vary according to the type of surgery and your doctor will be able to advise you further.
Can I get a myomectomy on the NHS?
Yes, you can get a myomectomy on the NHS. However the NHS has been, and continues to be, hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. High levels of staff sickness have had an impact on waiting times across the board. These waiting times vary from hospital to hospital. And any new waves of Covid-19 infections may result in this wait getting even longer. Because of this, many people choose to go to a private clinic for their myomectomy. At the Cadogan Clinic, there is no waiting list, so you can have the procedure promptly.
Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.
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