A myomectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a fibroma, a non-cancerous growth or tumor that appears in a women's uterus. As a fibroid treatment, a myomectomy can be effective at relieving fibroid symptoms, such as pain during periods and sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding during and between menstrual cycles, pressure on the pelvis, frequent urination, constipation, infertility, and pregnancy complications.
Unlike a hysterectomy, in which the entire uterus is removed, a myomectomy removes only the fibroid tissue and leaves the uterus intact, preserving the possibility of a future pregnancy. However, with a myomectomy there is a risk of recurrence of uterine fibroids. Research suggests that 25 to 50 percent of women who have had a myomectomy experience a recurring tumor within 1 to 10 years.
Types of myomectomy procedures
There are several kinds of myomectomy procedures that surgeons may use to remove fibroid tissue.
An abdominal myomectomy is traditional procedure involving an incision over the abdomen through which surgeons remove the uterine fibroids.
A laparoscopic myomectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses several small incisions through which surgeons insert small tubes containing a camera and the tools to remove the fibroid. Because this myomectomy involves smaller incisions, patients tend to experience less pain and recover more quickly.
A robotic myomectomy is similar to a laparoscopic surgery, but uses robotic instruments controlled by a surgeon sitting at a console a few feet away.
A hysteroscopic myomectomy removes fibroid tissue through the vagina and does not require any abdominal incision.
A myomectomy at BWH
Patients requiring a myomectomy can receive compassionate and innovative care at the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). The Center is one of premier infertility and reproductive medicine programs in the country, with physicians renowned for their specialized expertise and facilities that provide access to state-of-the-art therapies and technologies.
The Center provides evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of reproductive and infertility disorders. With our own nationally-certified, full-service laboratories, our team is capable of performing a range of sophisticated tests and procedures, including embryo freezing. The Center has also been a leader in research to find new ways to improve reproductive health.
In addition to a myomectomy, patients may consult with physicians and surgeons at the Center about a wide variety of conditions and treatments, including treatment for infertility, genetic conditions, ovarian fibroma and uterine polyps, as well as endometriosis symptoms. Patients in need of specific medical care, such as endometriosis treatment, can use the Find a Doctor feature on our website to search for physicians in their area.