Center offers solutions to problem fibroids

Millions of women in the United States are living with uterine fibroids – common, benign tumors of the uterus. Thankfully, many of these women never experience symptoms. But some develop serious quality-of-life issues, including significant pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. To help, University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital offers a number of treatment options and easy-to-access care through its Fibroid Center.

Streamlined care

The Fibroid Center, located at University Hospitals Landerbrook Health Center in Mayfield Heights, is a tremendous benefit to patients. Not only is the center staffed with a multidisciplinary team of physicians who are experts in fibroid treatment, but women are also able to access this care in one convenient location.

“Typically, women seeking fibroid treatment must make several different appointments with multiple specialists to make treatment decisions,” explains Karen Ashby, MD, Medical Director of the Fibroid Center. “At the Fibroid Center, all of these specialists collaborate together, providing streamlined care and treatment.”

Treatment tailored to individual needs

Traditionally, problem fibroids are treated with hysterectomy, which is complete removal of the uterus. But the Fibroid Center offers women alternative treatment options.

“Hysterectomy may be the right option for some women. But for different reasons, many women want to avoid the surgery,” says Dr. Ashby. “Our center provides a number of solutions to fibroid problems.”

In addition to hysterectomy, the Fibroid Center offers treatment options, including medication, surgical removal of the fibroid that leaves the uterus intact (called myomectomy) and uterine fibroid embolization.

“Not every treatment is right for every woman. Treatment options may vary based on the location and size of the fibroid as well as individual preferences,” says Dr. Ashby. “If a woman wants to maintain her fertility and is a candidate for surgery, she may opt for a myomectomy. If fertility is not a consideration, uterine fibroid embolization offers excellent results with little recovery time.”

A safe, nonsurgical treatment option

Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. It involves injecting tiny particles into the blood vessels that feed the fibroid. This cuts off blood flow, causing the tumor to shrink and die. Women who undergo uterine fibroid embolization typically go home the next day and are back to normal activities in about a week.

“Women deserve a choice in fibroid treatment,” says Dr. Ashby. “We are pleased to offer a place where they can find the answers they need.”

Find specialty care for fibroids

Women may be referred to the Fibroid Center by their gynecologist or call 1-866-UH4-CARE (844-2273) directly for an appointment. Once women are treated for fibroid issues, they continue to receive regular gynecological care from their own physician.

Karen Ashby

Medical Director, Fibroid Center, University Hospitals
Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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