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Overview

At Bridgeport Hospital’s Fibroid Center, we recognize that uterine fibroids can seriously impact physical and emotional well-being. That is why we listen to our patients and focus on each individual’s preferred treatment and outcome, whether it be retaining fertility or improving specific symptoms. For most, major surgery isn’t necessary.

Our dedicated Fibroid Center has a multidisciplinary team of experts who work with patients to provide treatment options customized to their specific medical needs and wishes, from medical to interventional radiology to minimally invasive procedures or radiofrequency ablation of fibroids.

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Services

  • Hormonal and medication therapies
  • Endometrial Ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
  • Hysteroscopy Myomectomy
  • Minimally invasive surgery or robotic surgery
  • Hysterectomy

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that can develop on the inside or outside of the muscular wall of your uterus. Typically, they do not require treatment. However, uterine fibroids can grow large and cause problems. Even small fibroids can be problematic, depending on their location and cause pelvic pain, pressure, infertility and abnormal uterine bleeding.

How are uterine fibroids detected?

Uterine fibroids are usually found during a standard pelvic exam. If your doctor finds any abnormal growths, follow-up tests may include:

  • Ultrasound: By sending sound waves through the body, a doctor can get a fuller picture of fibroids in the uterus.
  • Blood test: If your periods have been especially heavy, a doctor may check your blood to see if you are suffering from anemia (iron deficiency commonly associated with blood loss). A blood test can also rule out other conditions with similar symptoms such as thyroid problems.

How can I tell if I have uterine fibroids?

When uterine fibroids become too large, too numerous or start pressing against another organ, patients may experience pelvic pain or pressure and changes with menstruation. Additional symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Difficulty emptying bladder
  • Enlargement of the lower abdomen
  • Fatigue due to heavy periods and bleeding
  • Frequent urination
  • Heavy, painful menstrual bleeding
  • Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant
  • Lower back pain or leg pain
  • Miscarriage(s)
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

What are the treatment options for uterine fibroids?

  • Hormonal and medication therapies: Pain relievers may work to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps; birth control pills and other hormonal methods can control heavy periods. An intrauterine device that releases progestogen hormone may be prescribed to reduce heavy bleeding. Medications called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists will reduce the size of uterine fibroids and stop menstrual bleeding. Because of side effects, GnRH agonists are typically used for up to six months, and fibroids will usually return to their previous size after the drug is stopped.
  • Endometrial Ablation: In this procedure a thin inner layer of the uterus is destroyed, reducing menstrual bleeding. It is only recommended for patients that competed their family and do not desire future fertility. It has limitations in patient with large fibroids distorting the cavity.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: often referred to as “Acessa®” procedure is a same-day, outpatient minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency and heat to destroy individual fibroids one by one and turns their consistency from a hard baseball to a marshmallow and gradually reduces their size. By shrinking the fibroids and changing the consistency, patients enjoy less severe symptoms including pelvic pain and bleeding.
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE): This procedure is used to alleviate severe symptoms such as anemia, cramps or incontinence. Small particles are injected into the bloodstream around the uterine vessels to block the flow to fibroids resulting in the fibroids shrinking.
  • Hysteroscopy Myomectomy: is a quick outpatient procedure to remove the intra cavity fibroid vaginally with no incision.
  • Minimally invasive surgery or robotic surgery: A minimally invasive outpatient, same-day procedure called a myomectomy, is an option for those who wish to keep the option to become pregnant following the procedure.
  • Hysterectomy: In rare cases, the surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) may be the best option for treating a patient’s uterine fibroid.

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Locations

Specialty services are offered at our hospitals and ambulatory sites.

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Primary Care Center - Bridgeport Hospital
Smilow Cancer Hospital - Fairfield
Bridgeport Hospital
Park Avenue Medical Center
Yale School of Medicine

Yale New Haven Health is proud to be affiliated with the prestigious Yale University and its highly ranked Yale School of Medicine.