While there have been impressive advances made in the field of modern medicine, sometimes procedures can have complications. While some of these complications are unavoidable, others represent issues with the defective medical equipment. One example is the use of laparoscopic power morcellators. Laparoscopic power morcellators are used to remove uterine fibroids. However recently, the FDA issued a warning against the use of power morcellators because when they remove the uterine fibroid that can actually spread cancerous tissue to other areas of the body. Because uterine fibroids are a common medical condition among women everywhere, it is vital that everyone understands the symptoms and treatment options for this common condition.
How do Uterine Fibroids Develop?
For those who do not know, uterine fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths of smooth muscle that can occur throughout a woman’s uterus. How these fibroids grow is an active area of research; and the cause of uterine fibroids is still unclear. Research has demonstrated that fibroids tend to run in families and that their growth might be related to hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. Unfortunately, how these levels relate to fibroid growth is still somewhat of a mystery. Research has demonstrated that women who are obese are at a higher risk for developing fibroids.
What Symptoms should Women Watch For?
The first step in treating uterine fibroids is to accurately identify them. Because fibroids can range widely in number, location, and size and the symptoms will vary from patient to patient. While some women won’t have any symptoms at all, others may experience have severe symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Menorrhagia: Some women will notice heavy bleeding during their periods.
- Metrorrhagia: Other women may notice spotting or bleeding in between their periods.
- Dysmenorrhea: Women may notice that their periods are painful.
- Urinary Symptoms: Some women may have difficulty urinating due to the uterine fibroids.
- Infertility: Depending on the location of the fibroids, they may prevent ovulation and pregnancy from occurring.
Some women may have none of these symptoms while other women may have multiple symptoms.
How are they Diagnosed?
Like every other condition, the first step in proper diagnosis is a careful review of symptoms. Once the physician has covered the symptoms, the doctor will perform a pelvic examination. Some uterine fibroids are large enough to feel with an external exam. If the physician suspects that one or more fibroids are present, the ultimate standard is to use a pelvic ultrasound. An ultrasound probe specially designed for this purpose will be inserted into the vaginal canal and the fibroids can be visualized on the ultrasound scan. This will help to size the fibroids and mark their location so that the proper treatment can be employed.
How are Fibroids Treated?
Depending on the size and location of the uterine fibroids, there are a number of treatment options that can be used. Some of these are reviewed below.
Medication for Symptoms: If the fibroids are small in number and size, they may be left alone. Medications can be used to control the symptoms.
Medication for Fibroids: If the fibroids are growing, there are medical options that can be used to shrink the fibroids. This is a good option for people who do not wish to have surgery.
Surgical Removal: If the fibroids are in a poor location or are overly large, a procedure called a myomectomy can be performed. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the fibroids surgically in an effort to stop the symptoms.
Hysterectomy: This is the ultimate cure. If the fibroids recur, the entire uterus can be removed. Women should note that this will mean they are unable to have children.
One of the tools to remove uterine fibroids used to be a laparoscopic power morcellator; however, this piece of equipment caused multiple complications that have removed its use from the medical community.
Sacramento Defective Medical Device Injury Lawyers
Hello, I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Defective Medical Device Injury Lawyer. If you or someone you know has suffered complications from a laparscopic power mocellator procedure, please call me for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 toll free.
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