A recent article in the February issue of Ob-Gyn News described a medical study that claimed to have a great success rate of pregnancies for women who had previous infertility problems because of fibroids.
Fibroid tumors are noncancerous growths in the uterus that affects 77% of women. Most women are not even aware that they have them because they have no symptoms. However, a small percentage of women have complaints such as heavy periods, pain and pressure. Depending on their location, fibroids can affect the ability to have children in 1 to 2% of women, especially if they are located inside the womb where the baby would normally grow. Traditionally, fibroids are removed surgically if a woman wants to have children but the larger the fibroids, the more difficult they are to be removed without causing significant scar tissue.
In the study described, robotic surgery was used to surgically remove fibroids. A surgical robot is a computer-controlled device that is used during laparoscopy (belly button surgery) procedures. In this particular study, 108 women had fibroids surgically removed by robotic surgery that resulted in 127 pregnancies. 61% of women became pregnancy after the procedure without the use of infertility drugs and 39% became pregnancy using in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Unfortunately about 21% of these pregnancies ended with a miscarriage and there were two tubal pregnancies (ectopic) as well. Most of the women who became pregnant had an average of 4 fibroids that were no larger than 3 inches in size but was b locking the lining of the uterus which caused infertility. After the procedures, they delivered around 36.6 weeks, had babies weighing 7 pounds and the average age of the mother was 35.
If you are trying to conceive and have fibroids, should you have a robotic procedure? Probably not without getting a second opinion. Robotic surgery is more expensive than traditional laparoscopy procedures and has a longer operating time. The advantage of having robotic surgery is that the surgeon has a better image of the operating field in 3-dimensions (3-D) as opposed to 2-D and it has features that make it technical easier for the surgeon to perform the procedures.
Women with fibroids who are attempting to conceive should contact the National Institute of Health for further information at the following link http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Uterine_Fibroids.cfm
Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mother who knows what to do.