Uterine fibroids are a common women’s health concern that can cause disruptive symptoms and interfere with your fertility. If you’re concerned about fibroids, contact John H. Kirk, MD, and his team in Napa, St. Helena, and Hidden Valley Lake, California. They provide expert diagnosis and customized treatment for fibroids, relieving your symptoms, and restoring your health. Call Dr. Kirk or schedule a consultation online today.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are benign growths that form on or in the walls of a woman’s uterus. Fibroids are classified by where they grow within a woman’s womb. Intramural fibroids grow inside the uterine wall, while submucosal fibroids grow into the uterus. Subserosal fibroids grow on the outside of the uterus.
Fibroids range in size. Some fibroids are as small as a grain of rice, while others can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger.
Medical researchers don’t fully understand the cause of fibroids. However, they believe that hormonal abnormalities and other growth factors can trigger fibroid growth. Fibroids might also be due to genetic changes or increased extracellular matrix — a material that helps the cells stick together.
What are the symptoms of fibroids?
Fibroids cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Heavy periods
- Periods that last longer than a week
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Frequent urination
- Trouble emptying bladder
- Cramping in the low back or legs
However, it’s also possible to have fibroids without symptoms.
How are fibroids diagnosed?
In many cases, Dr. Kirk diagnoses fibroids during routine pelvic exams. If he feels an abnormal lump, he orders additional testing, such as lab work, ultrasounds, or hysteroscopy. These tests allow Dr. Kirk to confirm the diagnosis and identify the best possible treatment for your condition.
How are fibroids treated?
Dr. Kirk and his team offer customized fibroid treatments to minimize pain and injury for women. They provide comprehensive consultations to explain your treatment options and answer your questions. Dr. Kirk also provides second opinions, as there are nonsurgical treatment options, including medication to shrink the fibroids and ease symptoms, to consider.
When nonsurgical treatments aren’t effective or appropriate, Dr. Kirk and his team use minimally invasive, robotic surgery to remove fibroids through keyhole incisions, which provides less painful and more rapid recovery. They’ve offered minimally invasive, robotic-assisted myomectomy since 2004, making them one of the first practices in the country to provide this innovative treatment for symptomatic fibroids.
If you’re concerned about fibroids or have heavy periods that are interfering with your quality of life, call Dr. Kirk or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatments.