Top 3 Fibroid Treatments | Get Your Life Back

Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are noncancerous growths of the uterus. They grow in a woman’s uterine tissue, frequently during childbearing years. Uterine fibroids can appear quickly or steadily over time, and they can be various sizes. While many can’t even be seen by the human eye, some are large enough to increase the size of the uterus.

As many as 75 percent of all women may experience uterine fibroids.

How Do You Treat Fibroids? If you are suffering from uterine fibroids, there are three primary treatments.

  1. Hysterectomy – For many years, the standard treatment for most women with uterine fibroids had been hysterectomy. By opting for hysterectomy, the patient agrees to surgical removal of the uterus, thus also permanently eliminating the fibroids. Obviously, this isn’t recommended for women who have childbirth plans. But hysterectomy is the only treatment option that guarantees the fibroids won’t regrow. The long-term effects of hysterectomy are noteworthy, so it’s best left as a last resort.
  2. Myomectomy – Another common treatment option, myomectomy is also a surgical removal of fibroids. Unlike hysterectomy, myomectomy ensure the uterus remains in place, which enables women to still become pregnant. While it’s not guaranteed, myomectomy doesn’t completely prohibit pregnancy
  3. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) – Surgical options can be extreme. Fortunately, another option has been available for the past 20 years. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment. Performed by an Interventional Radiologist, UFE shrinks the fibroids by blocking the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids, leading to relief of the pain. With the patient sedated and using local anesthetic, but still conscious, a small incision is made in the skin near the groin. The interventional radiologist than inserts a small tube into the femoral artery. Through the artery, the tube is guided to the uterus where the physician injects tiny particles that cut off the blood supply to the tumors. As a result the tumors shrink. The tube is removed and the cut is cleaned and bandaged. Because UFE doesn’t require the elaborate surgical procedures of other treatments, most women can resume daily activities within a few days. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is 90 percent effective in reducing the symptoms caused by fibroids. The Interventional Radiologists at Interventional Physicians of Indiana perform UFE at Community Hospital North and Community Hospital East.

3 Things You Need To Know About Back Pain And Aging

At some point, most of us will suffer from back pain. For many it’s a mild but irritating ache that comes and goes; for others it’s a chronic, incapacitating pain that can make it difficult to stand, sit, and sleep. Back pain has several causes, including poor posture, ill-advised or awkward lifting, being overweight, or as the result of an accident. The most common cause of back pain, however, is simply age.

Whether we like it or not, there’s no escaping father time. Your back is an intricate system of bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. Your vertebrae – the bones in your spine – are lined up one on top of the other. Small joints between each vertebra enable your spine to move. Also crammed between the bones are disks. The centers of these disks have a softer consistency than bones. As a result, they buffer the impact on the bones while keeping them from bumping into each other.

The chances of pain increase as we get older. Over time, the disks between your vertebrae are worn down or shrink. When that happens, you experience stiffness and pain because your bones are now closer to rubbing against each other. Add in the fact that another element of aging is the narrowing of the space around your spinal cord – otherwise known as spinal stenosis – and you have additional pressure on the nerves in your back.

Treating Back Pain as You Age

You have three basic options for treating back pain: medicine, therapy, and surgery.

  1. Medicine – The least invasive of the three and the recommended first step for dealing with back pain. The types of medication available include aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen, oral or injectable steroids, or more complex narcotics such as codeine and morphine.
  2. Therapy – Also called physical medicine, therapy includes rest or limited physical activity, chiropractic therapy, active therapy (aerobics, stretching, weight lifting), passive therapy (massage, ice, heat, electrical stimulation), stress relief (yoga, meditation, Pilates), and braces that you can wrap around your back or stomach.
  3. Surgery – The final option when you’ve exhausted less invasive methods. Types of surgery include disk replacement and spinal fusion, which removes the movement between the bones in your spine.

Back Pain Prevention

Some estimates indicate that four out of five American adults will miss work during their careers because of chronic back pain. For most, the pain is neither permanent nor serious – more than 90 percent of back-related issues resolve themselves within six weeks.

To avoid back pain, following a simple plan may be all the difference. Steps include the following:

  • Maintain good posture, standing and sitting
  • Exercise to keep your core flexible and strong, and to reduce stress
  • Follow a healthy diet and pay attention to your weight

The recommendations above won’t eliminate your chances of experience back pain, but they will minimize the likelihood as you get older. If you still experience back pain and discomfort despite a healthy lifestyle, take the time to speak with your physician.

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