Fibroids and ovarian cysts
Duke’s nationally ranked obstetrics and gynecology program uses the latest non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments for large, painful fibroids and ovarian cysts. Our surgical alternatives include uterine artery embolization and MRI-guided focused ultrasound. Our specialists provide you with expert care and a personalized treatment plan to return you to good health.
Advanced treatment options for fibroids and ovarian cysts
Ovarian fibroids and cysts are common in women and often go away on their own. However, when they cause abnormal bleeding, severe abdominal pain and cramping or vomiting, it is time to see a doctor. Our expert gynecologists use the most advanced diagnostic tests and treatments available to remove ovarian cysts and fibroids. Our goal for gynecological surgery is to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible to ensure you don’t experience fertility issues or future pregnancy complications.
We offer minimally invasive treatment options that result in smaller scars, faster recoveries and fewer complications. We also offer non-surgical options including MRI-guided focused ultrasound and uterine artery embolization, which relies on small particles to block the blood supply of the arteries that supply the fibroid.
Fibroids and ovarian cysts at Duke: Why choose us
- Nationally ranked program. Our obstetrics and gynecology program is consistently ranked one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. Our surgeons are known for their expertise and skill with minimally invasive myomectomy and hysterectomy.
- Advanced technology. We are the only hospital in the Triangle to offer MRI-guided focused ultrasound, a noninvasive treatment option that removes fibroids but keeps surrounding tissue intact.
- Tissue-sparing approach. We explore all non-surgical and medical treatment options before recommending surgery or hysterectomy. Our minimally invasive surgical options and drug therapies are designed to spare healthy tissue and reproductive organs for women of childbearing age.
- Personalized care. We develop personalized treatment plans that take into account your age and lifestyle. Young women who want to have children may not want to pursue any treatment or surgery that could affect reproductive tissues. We offer a wide range of treatment options, including hormone therapies and non-invasive options. Together we choose the best option for you.
- Research on new therapies. We actively research new ways to treat fibroids. Our dedicated researchers study fibroids and their causes, which helps us develop more effective, targeted treatments for you in the future.
FIBROIDS AND UTERINE CYSTS
Reduces your body’s estrogen production to ease pain and even help shrink fibroids and ovarian cysts. We may prescribe gonadotroin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists (such as Lupron and Zoladex) to shrink fibroids.
Your doctor will only recommend surgery for fibroids that grow very large and cause symptoms, such as pain. Large, persistent fibroids that also cause pain may require surgery. We perform:
- Laparoscopic myomectomy. Fibroids are removed through small incisions in your abdomen. You recover faster with less pain and fewer complications than open surgery. This procedure leaves your uterus in place and intact.
- Hysterectomy. Minimally invasive surgery in which your doctor removes your uterus. We consider this option as a last resort because our goal is to preserve your reproductive organs, especially in women of child-bearing age. Our minimally invasive option means less pain and an easier recovery for you.
Also known as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), this nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist. Materials that block blood flow are injected into the fibroids, which causes them to shrink and die.
A noninvasive procedure which uses MRI-guided focused ultrasound to locate and destroy the fibroid with sound waves. Patients who receive this treatment return to their daily activities soon after treatment and typically require fewer additional procedures and follow-up tests than patients who don’t. Learn more about focused ultrasound for uterine fibroids.
FIBROIDS AND UTERINE CYSTS
Although fibroids and cysts are noncancerous, your doctor may test your blood to look for abnormally high levels of substances in your blood that may indicate cancerous cells.
Sound waves create images of fibroids affecting your uterus and ovaries.
Fills the uterus with salt or saline solution so that ultrasound images can create more detailed images and diagnose the fibroid with greater accuracy.
Sound waves and magnets are used to take pictures that show the size and location of fibroids.
A tiny camera inserted via a long, flexible tube through the cervix takes images inside the uterus to identify fibroids and polyps. May be performed in a doctor’s office or in the operating room.