What are my uterine fibroids treatment alternatives?

Procedure
What is it?
Advantages
Disadvantages
Hysterectomy
Surgical removal of the uterus. Expect a hospital stay and a recovery period.
Fibroids never come back because the uterus is removed.
Reproductive potential is lost. Recovery time is typically 4-6 weeks. Other complications possible.
Abdominal myomectomy
Removal of one or more of the fibroids with open abdominal surgery.
Preserves the uterus and cervix and allows pregnancy.
A re-occurrence  of the fibroid symptoms is possible if new fibroids grow. Recovery time is typically 2-4 weeks. Some complications possible.
Laparoscopic myomectomy or hysteroscopic myomectomy
One or more of the fibroids are removed using laparoscopic or endoscopic techniques.
Less invasive than open abdominal myomectomy, fibroids can be removed via abdominal endoscope or the cervix/vagina.
Not suitable for larger, multiple, or deep fibroids.
Recovery time is typically 1-4 weeks. Some complications possible.
Hormone therapy
GnRH drug treatment causes fibroid shrinkage.
Non-surgical conservative method of fibroid treatment.
Treatment is only effective for 6-12 months. Causes menopausal symptoms. May result in rapid return of symptoms after stopping treatment.
Uterine artery embolisation
The uterine artery is injected with polyvinyl alcohol beads, with a catheter, which block the flow of blood to the fibroids and cause necrosis.
Symptom relief with shorter hospital stay than hysterectomy or myomectomy.
Risks include premature menopause, serious infection, bleeding and embolisation of other than the fibroid(s). Strong pain during first two days often experienced.
Watchful waiting
No treatment. Monitoring for any progression of symptoms.
Sometimes fibroid symptoms diminish with menopause.
Fibroids can continue to grow with an increase in symptoms. Fibroids beyond a certain size may not be treatable with minimally invasive techniques.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation by Haifus Model JC or Model JC200
 
 
Ultrasound beams are focused and sufficient ultrasonic energy is concentrated within volume while they propagate through tissues, the temperature in the focal region may be raised to levels at which the tumors are cooked, resulting in tissue ablation.
Non-invasive, no bleeding during treatment. Requires no hospital stay or anaesthesia. Reserves uterus and cervix as well as procreative function.
There might be skin burns, however, which can be avoided by a safety monitoring system

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