Topics of Interest

How Do Women Feel after Treatment for Fibroids with Myomectomy, Embolization or Hysterectomy?

Outcomes from leiomyoma therapies: comparison with normal controls.

Authors: Spies JB, Bradley LD, Guido R, Maxwell GL, Levine BA, Coyne K.

Study From: Georgetown University Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and United BioSource Inc.

Journal: Obstet Gynecol. 2010;116:641-52.

Problem: There are very few studies that measure how women feel after treatment for fibroids.

Study: Four medical centers collaborated to measure fibroid symptoms and quality-of- life both before and after hysterectomy, myomectomy, or uterine artery embolization (UAE) compared to each other and to women without fibroids.

Findings: 101 women without fibroids, 107 women having an embolization for fibroids, 61 having a myomectomy and 106 women having a hysterectomy for fibroids participated in the study. At the beginning of the study, the women filled out questionnaires asking about their level of activity, energy level, sexual function, pain, social functioning, general health and mental health. Women with fibroids scored much worse than women without fibroids.

With treatment, no women in any group died or had a permanent injury.

Six and 12 months later, questionnaires showed that, after any of the three fibroid treatments, most women felt as good as women without fibroids. At 12 months, women who had a hysterectomy had fewer symptoms (no bleeding) than women who had myomectomies or UAE.

Authors’ Conclusions: One year after treatment, all three fibroid treatments resulted in substantial symptom relief, to near normal levels, with the greatest improvement after hysterectomy. The authors felt this was because after hysterectomy women had no further bleeding.

Dr. Parker’s Comments: UAE, myomectomy and hysterectomy all make women feel better than before they had treatment and most women return to feeling normal. There were a few short-comings of the study, though. First, the study is a statistical analysis of groups of women and it is not possible to tell from the article if some women did not improve or had bothersome side-effects after treatment. Also, each woman chose her treatment and, therefore, might be inclined to score the questionnaires higher to support her choice. However, this is what happens in real life and if you feel better, who cares what the scientists think??


Disclaimer: The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained on this web site are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision.

Fibroid Doctor William H. Parker

Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research. Based in San Diego, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late 90's.

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