|June 2008 · Vol. 20, No. 06
When necessity calls for treating uterine fibroids
Most myomas are asymptomatic; you can manage them with watchful waiting. When quality of life suffers, however, a range of therapies is available.
Some women who have fibroids have quality-of-life scores worse than those of women who have hypertension, heart disease, chronic lung disease, or arthritis
Most interventional radiologists advise against uterine artery embolization for women who want to become pregnant
Postembolization syndrome requires hospitalization and usually resolves in 48 to 72 hours
In women with similar uterine size, myomectomy and hysterectomy had equivalent risks of hemorrhage, fever, and rehospitalization, but hysterectomy involved more surgical blood loss and complications
Once they are removed, individual myomas do not recur, although new ones may appear
Dr. Parker is Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif, and Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles.
The author reports no financial relationships relevant to this article.
Part 1 of this article, in the May 2008 issue, discusses how to counsel patients who are found to have a uterine fibroid.