British Fibroid Trust Woman2Woman Fibroid Support Fibroids: Patient Guide
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Myolysis & Cryomyolysis
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Myolysis & Cryomyolysis, at the time of writing, are not approved by National Institute of Excellence (NICE) and are still experimental.
  • This technique involves the use of bipolar or unipolar electrical pulse or laser through a needle/probe to coagulate (clot) (i.e. to disrupt) the blood flow of the fibroids which causes them to shrink over time and eventually die (necrosis). When liquid nitrogen is used instead of laser or electrical current, it is called cryomyolysis.
  • Suitable for small fibroids which are less than about 4 inches (10 centimeters) or the uterus is no more than that of a 14-week pregnancy.
  • Only suitable for women who no longer want to have children.
  • Long-term studies are required to determine whether myolysis is an effective alternative to myomectomy.
  • There are some risks/complications associated with myolysis (see Table below).

    Summary: Risks/Complications
    Infection.
    Frequent failure to resolve the symptoms of abnormal bleeding, pain which subsequently may require additional surgery, usually hysterectomy.
    Pelvic adhesion.
    Adverse reactions to anaesthetics.
    Large portion of the womb muscle may be destroyed or scars, consequently, if you fall pregnant afterwards, there may be serious complications including rupture of the uterus.
What happens BEFORE the procedure?
A few weeks before the procedure, your gynaecologist prescribes you medicine that thins the lining of the womb and reduces its blood supply. It can be, for example, Danazol, oral drug. Or months before, you may be prescribed injection called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRHa), e.g. Zoladex, to shrink fibroids and reduce blood flow to the uterus.
As a routine, on the day, a pregnancy test is carried out.
What happens DURING the procedure?
  • Under general anaesthetics, the surgeon first makes small incisions in your lower abdomen and inserts carbon dioxide gas to inflate your abdomen.
  • The surgeon then inserts the probe into the fibroid through the laparoscope.
  • Laser or high frequency electrical current is applied. This is repeated several times at different locations inside each fibroid until it is deemed to be sufficient to cause necrosis (destruction of the fibroids).
  • The burning process takes less than 4 mins for microwaves techniques and 10-15 mins for other techniques. The process takes approx 1 hour.
What happens AFTER the procedure?
  • You are kept for observations for a few hours.
  • Hospital discharge: same day.
  • You may experience pain, tenderness or cramping in the abdominal area which can be resolved with pain killers.
  • Avoid using tampons. Use sanitary pads for at least in the first week.
  • Do NOT have sexual intercourse for 1 week.
  • Avoid strenuous activity in the first week.
  • It is advisable to have a few days off work.
  • Contact the emergency department immediately if you develop heavy bleeding, severe and increased abdominal pain or fever.
Author: Dr Nicki On, PhD, MRPharmS.
The information on this page has been peer-reviewed by
Dr Rajesh Varma, MA, PhD, MRCOG. Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK.

DISCLAIMER
This website provides primarily information which is intended for educational purpose only. All contents within British Fibroid Trust should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or gynaecologist or any other health care professional.
Medical decisions must be made in consultation with a qualified gynaecologist or specialist based on a complete medical history, physical examination and diagnostic results.
British Fibroid Trust is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of our website.
The British Fibroid Trust is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advertised on any of the external sites. Always consult your own doctor if you're in any way concerned about your health.

Copyright 2008 by Dr Nicki On for the British Fibroid Trust.
The above information can be reproduced freely for non-profit education purposes or as part of a public awareness initiative. Reproduction rights refer only to text. Logos, symbols, photographs, and any other graphical material which may not be used or reproduced without permission unless explicitly stated in the source document.

This page was last modified on Tuesday 8 September 2009 11:07 pm.
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