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Is Watchful Waiting A Good Option for Fibroids at Age 50?

Dear Dr Parker

I found your site while researching the possible treatment for my fibroids.  Thank you for creating such an informative resource.

I am 50 this year and have had fibroids for some time which recently began to grow.  This week I had a uterine ultrasound and my doctor has told me I have about “a pound and a half” of fibroids in my uterus.  I’m afraid I don’t have specifics as he called me last night to just go through the test results.  He seems keen on surgery (hysterectomy) and I am not keen on that for the following reasons:

I have only recently started having minor discomfort in association with the fibroids, some heaviness and some changes in the need to urinate but nothing drastic.  My periods have become lighter recently with far less pain than in the past when the fibroids were probably smaller.

What would be an alternate choice of action to surgery at this point?   My doctor says they fibroids don’t seem to be interfering with urine flow but I would be happy to have my kidneys checked out to make sure all is well there.  I am worried that some doctors are just too prepared to perform major surgery when this may resolve itself after menopause.  Of course, if things get worse then I would reconsider the surgery option.Any advice?   Thanks so much again for offering your views on this issue to women who are looking for a balanced view.

T.S.

Hi T.S.,

It is very, very rare for fibroids to block the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder and the fibroids would have to huge to do this.  I cannot give medical advice over the internet, but since you are close to menopause you should ask your doctor about watchful waiting.  Myomectomy, removal of just the fibroids is always an option if the symptoms increase.  If the doctor persists with talk of a hysterectomy, then get a second opinion.  Thanks for the kind words about the website.

Bill Parker, MD

For more information about fibroids and surgery, please see:

http://www.fibroidsecondopinion.com/surgery-for-fibroids/

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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.

One Comment

  1. sally
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I would like to give some follow up on the above email as I wrote it. I am now a year and a half down the line and the fibroids have not grown. My ob-gyn agrees with the watchful waiting. I would like to thank Dr Parker for the site as it gave me the confidence to wait and see and to counter my doctor’s advice. This may not be the approach for everyone, I have no heavy bleeding and I can tolerate the occasional aching the fibroids give me, but as I am near menopause I am hoping they don’t grow further, we shall see. So to anyone out there who is not suffering too much but still has multiple or large fibroids, please don’t rush to surgery as it may not be necessary. It seems that all cases vary, but I’ve found a healthy diet and exercise helps.

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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