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On Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. New Hanover Regional Medical Center will host a Live & Learn seminar on women’s gynecologic health at the NHRMC Surgical Pavilion. Discussion topics will include incontinence, fibroids, gynecologic cancers, as well as other gynecologic conditions, and their treatment options.

Among the expert physicians speaking at the event will be Wilmington obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Sandra Hall of Carolina OB/GYN. Below, Dr. Hall answers commonly asked questions about uterine fibroids, a topic she will cover in greater detail at the Live & Learn seminar.


Uterine fibroids are round, non-cancerous growths that often develop during a woman’s childbearing years. Fibroids grow in different locations in the uterus, including within the uterine wall (intramural), inside the uterine cavity (submucosal) and outside the uterus (subserosal).


Fibroids usually affect women of reproductive age. Studies show African-American women are at greater risk for developing fibroids. As many as 1 in 4 women have fibroids. Symptoms may include heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, constipation, pelvic pain or pressure, and back or leg pain.

 


Fibroids are frequently discovered during routine pelvic exams. Ultrasound is used to confirm their size and location. Other imaging tests may also be performed, including MRI, hysteroscopy and hysterosonogram. A complete blood count, or CBC, may also be performed.


Complications arising from fibroids can include heavy menstrual bleeding, which can lead to anemia, or a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Fibroids can also cause abdominal and pelvic discomfort. Both are treatable medical conditions.


Many options exist for the treatment of fibroids. They include:
• Medications - Oral contraceptives or progestins can help control bleeding from fibroids, but they do not reduce their size. Medication can also be given to shrink the size of fibroids but only on a short-term basis.
Uterine Artery Embolization - UAE is a minimally invasive procedure where small particles are injected into the arteries supplying the

 

uterus. The particles block the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink.
Myomectomy – Myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids that leaves the uterus intact. It’s an option for some women who plan on having children.
Hysterectomy – Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and the only permanent solution for fibroids. Today, many hysterectomies are performed laparoscopically, and newer treatments include the use of robotics, resulting in smaller incisions and quicker recovery.


If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult your healthcare provider. Take your time and gather the appropriate information before making a decision with your doctor about what treatment option is best for you.

Come hear Dr. Sandra Hall, Dr. Walter Gajewski and Dr. Tim Chase speak about incontinence, fibroids, gynecologic cancers and the latest treatment options at NHRMC’s Live & Learn seminar on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the NHRMC Surgical Pavilion. Register by calling Vitaline at 910.815.5188 or by visiting nhrmc.org/liveandlearn.

 

 
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