Can Fibroids Grow Back?

Pictures of fibroids
Do Fibroids Grow Back?

Yes and No.
No: Because once fibroids are removed by surgery they do not grow back. So technically, a woman cannot experience a fibroids recurrence.
Yes: Because new fibroids can grow in the same place or on other parts of the womb.

Overview: What are uterine fibroids?

How Likely Are Fibroids To Grow Back?

There have been various studies which have researched this question. One study indicated that if myomectomy surgery is performed for one single fibroid, 11 percent of patients would require repeat surgery within the following 10 years. If multiple fibroids were removed, the repeat rate was about 25 percent. Another study investigated the success rate of uterine artery embolization (UAE) and found that 17 percent of patients needed further treatment within 30 months. As most 'recurrences' occurred within 2 years, the researchers recommended that patients be monitored with transvaginal ultrasound for at least 2 years after UAE surgery.

What Makes Fibroids More Likely To Grow Back?

Age: The nearer a woman is to menopause, the less likely fibroids are to grow back. It would be very unusual for a woman over 40 to need a repeat myomectomy for example.
Over-Looked Fibroids: Some fibroids are so small they may be missed by the surgeon, but over time they can grow larger and become problematic. One study found that as many as 29 percent of women had fibroids left behind after myomectomy. However not all these women will require repeat surgery as the fibroids may not grow or cause problems.
Amount of Fibroids Removed: The more fibroids you have removed, the more likely new ones are to grow, indicating a possible genetic cause.
Childbirth: One study found that women who gave birth after myomectomy were less likely to develop new fibroids than women who did not. New fibroids appeared in 16 percent of women who gave birth compared to 28 percent of women who didn't.
Lupron Treatment: Hormone therapy using the drug Lupron is sometimes given to women to shrink the size of their fibroids before surgery. However, sometimes it can shrink the fibroids so small, the surgeon fails to spot them. One study found that 63 percent of women treated with Lupron still had small fibroids left over after surgery compared to 13 percent of women who didn't take the drug. See also, treatment for fibroids.

Recommended Treatment By the American Academy of Family Physicians

Patient Symptoms Treatment Option
Woman has fibroids but displays no symptoms. No treatment, just regular observation by transvaginal ultrasound.
Has fibroid symptoms but wants to preserve fertility. Non-surgical treatment or myomectomy
Has symptoms, no desire for future fertility but still wants to keep her womb. Nonsurgical treatment, myomectomy, myolysis or UAE
Has symptoms, wants to keep fertility but had a complication related to fibroids while pregnant. Myomectomy
Infertile women with a distorted uterus cavity. Myomectomy
Women with severe symptoms who want definitive (end-of-road) treatment. Hysterectomy

Related Questions
What are breast fibroids?
• Permanently bloated tummy? Can fibroids cause weight gain?
Can fibroids cause heavy menstrual bleeding?
• How to get a uterine fibroids diagnosis.
• Abdominal pain or bloating: Do fibroids cause pain?

• Need more information? See: Uterine Fibroids Guide
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT QUESTIONS ON FEMALE HEALTH
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