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Surgery to remove your fibroids

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Introduction

This information is for people who have fibroids. It tells you about surgery to remove your fibroids. It is based on the best and most up-to-date research.

An operation to remove your fibroids is called a myomectomy.

Does it work?

Yes, probably. If you have heavy periods or painful periods, there's a good chance that this operation will help you get better. If you have keyhole surgery to remove your fibroids, you'll have less pain and recover faster than if you have open surgery. But keyhole surgery is only suitable if your fibroids are small.

We don't know if this operation works better than surgery to remove your whole womb (which is called a hysterectomy).

What is it?

A myomectomy is an operation to take fibroids out of your womb. You can still have children afterwards.

Your surgeon can take out your fibroids in three different ways.

  • With keyhole surgery. Your surgeon takes them out with special instruments put through tiny cuts in your abdomen. It's also called a laparoscopic myomectomy.

  • Through your vagina. Your surgeon takes out your fibroids through your vagina with a tiny instrument called a hysteroscope. It is also called a vaginal myomectomy.

  • With open surgery. Your surgeon takes out your fibroids through a cut in your abdomen. It's also called an abdominal myomectomy.

You should talk to your doctor about which type of surgery is best for you. In general, keyhole surgery is suitable only if your fibroids are small. [23] [60] Open surgery is best if you have big fibroids or lots of them, or if they are in certain places. [60] [26]

If you have either open or keyhole surgery, you'll need a general anaesthetic to make you sleep during the operation. If you have your fibroids removed through your vagina, you can have either a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic.

It will probably take one hour to two hours to remove your fibroids, depending on how many you have and how big they are.

How can it help?

Surgery to remove your fibroids will probably help your symptoms. [61]

One study showed that between 6 and 7 in 10 women had lighter periods after surgery to remove fibroids. And between 7 and 8 in 10 women had less pain. [62] Another study showed that 8 out of 10 women were satisfied with the outcome of the operation to remove fibroids. [63]

You'll have less pain from the operation after keyhole surgery than after open surgery, and you should get better faster. [23] [60] [64] [65] But keyhole surgery is only suitable if your fibroids are small.

  • Most women who have keyhole surgery to remove their fibroids are back to normal in 15 days.

  • But only 1 in 20 women who have open surgery are fully recovered by then.

Last Updated: August 15, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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