Information about uterine fibroids
Minimally Invasive Therapy Unit & Endoscopy Training Centre
University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Free Hospital
Pond Street
London NW3 2QG, UK


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A new website for gynaecologists interested in the surgical management of fibroids is now on line.

Abdominal myomectomy

Abdominal myomectomy is the traditional operation for removing fibroids and is done through a laparotomy incision. If there are numerous, large fibroids, it is the only way to remove them as the other techniques are not suitable in such cases. Providing the fibroids are not very large, however, a "bikini" type incision can often be used (see diagram).

Abdominal myomectomy is a major operation. As it is generally done in the more difficult cases, complications are more common than with the other routes of surgery, or indeed with hysterectomy. Hospitalisation and recovery also take longer. Nonetheless, it is a good operation when the other procedures are contra-indicated as it is the most thorough type of myomectomy and yet still allows the uterus to be conserved in most patients.

No limit to fibroid size, number or position
Most likely procedure to remove all the fibroids
Major abdominal incision
Complications relatively more frequent
Hospital stay 5 to 7 days
Recovery takes several weeks
Adhesions (scar tissue) more likely

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Potential complications of surgery

All surgery carries risk, and this applies even relatively minor procedures. Complications can be classified as "General" (applies to all procedures) and as "Specific" (applies to the procedure in question).

Serious surgical complications in gynaecological surgery include:
-Injury to surrounding structures (e.g. bladder, ureter, bowel)
-Infection (e.g. at the operative site, pneumonia)
-Venous thrombosis (e.g. deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus).