The Growing Field Of Fibroid Treatment Options Can Be Costly To Patients
Effectiveness of fibroid treatments and the likelihood of recurrence must be weighed carefully
The expanding landscape of fibroid treatment options can lead women to choose less effective options that may affect their long-term health, including fertility.
Fibroids are unpredictable. After some treatments, new fibroids can grow again. Depending on a patient’s insurance, or whether or not the specialist even accepts insurance, if multiple treatments are required, it can be expensive. Finding a laparoscopic fibroid expert who specializes in advanced fibroid removal and hysterectomy, who also accepts insurance is important.
“Reviewing all of the fibroid removal treatments available, choosing one that has the best long-term effects and is covered by insurance is essential to great patient care,” said Paul MacKoul, MD. “It is also important to know which treatments are meant to be alternatives to hysterectomy, and which preserve fertility. Treatments like UAE/UFE, and ablation are not advised for women who want to get pregnant. It’s a balancing act for many women navigating the array of options. Cost, effectiveness, and risks to fertility are all important elements to understand before choosing a treatment.”
The long-term effects of alternative fibroid treatments may leave some women who are trying to save their uterus unable to conceive. In some cases, the treatment makes it impossible for an embryo to attach to the uterus.
When multiple treatments are required, the same rules about efficacy apply.
“The message here is anyone with fibroids should see a fibroid specialist and determine if they are at a size where they should be addressed right away,” said Rupen Baxi, MD. “If they are really small, the size of seeds, then the patient may not need surgery immediately, however, women who are prone to fibroids should have an ultrasound once a year to make sure that no new ones are growing.”
“Once fibroids are in the uterus they will continue to grow,” said Natalya Danilyants, MD. “Eventually, these fibroids are going to cause problems. Women who are planning to have children, you don’t want to wait to get to the point where your fibroids are large. Those large fibroids can cause irreversible damage to the uterus, or similarly choose a treatment method that affects fertility.”
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