Uterine Leiomyoma at 40x Magnification
The least invasive treatment for leiomyoma is hormone therapy to shrink the tumors, which is sometimes used as a first means of attack. Myomectomy, which involves the surgical removal of leiomyomas through an abdominal incision, and hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus) are much more invasive, but are generally more successful means of treatment for a larger proportion of women. The former procedure, however, sometimes results in uterine scarring that can compound fertility problems and the latter necessarily puts an end to fertility. Thus, for individuals who desire to conceive a child, fibroid embolization, which entails blocking blood vessels that nourish the tumor in order to “starve” the growth and causes no trauma to the uterus, is often the preferred type of treatment.