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Monika Hearne, M.D.
Monika Hearne, M.D., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 5836
Experience:  With experience and compassion, I treat my patients like family.
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What possible complications can arise from a large (17cm) fibroid

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What possible complications can arise from a large (17cm) fibroid which causes no pain or discomfort apart from size?
Hello, I would be happy to assist you. If it continues to grow you can develop complications from it compressing other organs. It can block the flow of urine, and cause kidney problems. It can also keep your bowels from functioning normally which can lead to severe pain and need for emergency surgery. If the fibroid is growing rapidly, we typically recommend surgical removal to be sure it isn't a cancerous type of fibroid called a leiomyosarcoma. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask additional questions if necessary. Best wishes.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It's not growing rapidly, just 1 or 2cm a year so I'm not worried about it. It also just sits in the womb and makes me look pregnant but seems OK in there - not pressing on any organs dangerously. It is perhaps making a slight stomach hernia worse (pops out once in a while but I can push it back in). I just wanted to know what symptoms to look out for in case something requiring surgery was imminent. I can't decide whether it's worth going for a hysterectomy or not. Would you normally advise removal even if it seemed benign? Are the risks of keeping it any worse than the risks of a major operation?

Symptoms you should look out for is severe pain, fever, diarrhea, or heavy vaginal bleeding. I generally recommend my ladies have a hysterectomy as symptoms worsen with continued growth. We generally expect it to no longer grow and actually shrink after menopause, but if your periods are still regular, menopause is not imminent and it will just continue growing. The larger the uterus is, the more difficult the surgery is. Generally, it is best to perform an operation like this before you have developed any major issues as a consequence--meaning the healthier you are, the faster your recovery will be. Even though fibroids are commonly benign, the problems they cause lead me to recommend hysterectomy--especially when growth is obvious. As far as the risks of keeping it vs the risks of the operation--no one can say you will develop serious complications without having a hysterectomy or with a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S. and is commonly performed for fibroids. Most often, it is a major surgery that has no complications. However, the risks of complications increases as the uterus continues to grow. If your discomfort is leading you to consider hysterectomy, I would recommend having surgery now instead of waiting or risking the development of other medical problems that can make your surgery imminent, increase the risk of complications, and negatively impact your recovery.

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