HC411R - Treating Uterine Fibroids
This is Healthcare 411. The jury is still out about how to treat uterine
fibroids. More after this
Voice 1: Why do
I need the operation?
Voice 2: Are
there alternatives to surgery?
Voice 3: And
what are the risks involved?
year, more than 15 million Americans have surgery. If you’re considering
surgery, you need to make an informed decision. Ask your doctor to answer
questions and explain alternatives clearly. To learn more read the booklet
Having Surgery: What You Need To Know found at
www.ahrq.gov/consumer. A message from the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This is Healthcare 411. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors within
the uterus that can cause pain, heavy bleeding, frequent urination, and
problems with conception. A new review of studies about treating fibroids
did not find any clear answers.
The good news is that women can seek a large variety of treatments for
Dr. Meera Viswanathan, Deputy Director of AHRQ’s RTI
InternationalUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based
The most established
treatment is hysterectomy, which removes the entire uterus. Other therapies
may include myomectomy, and uterine artery embolization. These treatments
preserve a woman’s uterus and maybe her ability to conceive. The bad news
is that few well-structured studies have compared these different types of
treatments in terms of complications or long-term symptom relief.
Nearly 70 percent of white women and more than 80 percent of black
women develop one or more fibroids by age 50.
Fibroids are both common and problematic for women. And choosing among
treatments can be very difficult. Women deserve better information, which
can come only from more and higher-quality research about treatment options.
Learn more at
www.healthcare411.org. I’m Debra James. Healthcare 411 is produced by
the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.