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Myolysis is a medical surgical procedure that some physicians use to treat women with uterine fibroids. A uterine fibroid is a benign growth or tumor in the uterus that generally develops during the childbearing years of a woman’s life. The myolysis procedure is typically done laparoscopically in women who have small fibroids. Most myolysis procedures are performed in cases where fibroid growths are located close to the surface of a woman’s uterus.
A physician usually performs a myolysis procedure with a needle-like device and destroys small blood vessels in the uterus that are used to supply blood to fibroids. The uterine fibroids are typically destroyed during the surgical procedure with an electric current or a laser. In some instances, patients may receive medication before a myolysis procedure to shrink the fibroid tumors. Fibroid recurrence is possible in some women who receive myolysis treatment. Cryomyolysis is a similar procedure that freezes uterine fibroid tumors with liquid nitrogen.
Uterine fibroids often cause no symptoms and may not require treatment in many instances. Some women with uterine fibroids may experience prolonged menstruation and abnormally heavy bleeding during menstruation. Pelvic pain, frequent urination and difficulty emptying the bladder have been reported by women with fibroids in some cases. Backaches and pain in the legs are also possible with this medical condition.
Doctors may use other forms of uterine fibroid treatment besides myolysis. A progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) can be used in some women to relieve fibroid pain and heavy bleeding. Androgen therapy uses synthetic drugs similar to testosterone to help relieve uterine fibroid symptoms, but these drugs may cause side effects such as depression, abnormal hair growth and a deepening voice. Oral contraceptives may also reduce bleeding from uterine fibroids.
Some doctors perform other surgeries for uterine fibroids. A hysterectomy typically provides permanent relief from fibroids, but generally involves surgical removal of the uterus and may bring on early menopause. Patients who want to bear children may undergo a myomectomy in some situations. A surgeon ideally cuts fibroid tumors from the uterus while leaving the uterus intact during a myomectomy.
Women with a family history of uterine fibroids generally have an increased risk of developing these benign growths themselves. Obesity may increase the risk of fibroid tumors in some cases. Oral contraceptive use, pregnancy and childbirth may reduce a woman’s chance of developing uterine fibroids in some instances. The cause of uterine fibroids is not known in all cases, but genetic alterations of cells in the uterine muscle tissue may play a role in fibroid development. Progesterone and estrogen may also stimulate the growth of uterine fibroids.