BDO: Can fibroids grow back after they’ve been removed?
Dr. Linda Bradley: So, fibroid recurrence is common. Up to 25% of women have recurrent fibroids. Of course the ones we take out or remove, don’t come back. But they can come back in the same region.
But when they come back, the recurrence doesn’t mean that they’re symptomatic. I’ve had patients who I’ve done surgery on, they couldn’t get pregnant or stay pregnant, but we take out fibroids…they have their one or two kids, 15-20 years later patients symptoms meaning new fibroids.
Not the ones we took out because those were all taken away, but they can come back.
We look at, did the patient reach her reproductive capabilities, capacity for what she wanted? If they do come back, there’s so many treatments now for so many symptoms, I may be able to help her avoid surgery.
We don’t know what causes them, and certainly, once they’re removed, the idea that other parts of the muscle can replicate, making these tumors or tissues grow. So, certainly, we would tell a patient that it’s not 100%, except for those patients that are close to menopause. Women 45-50, if we take out fibroids, they’re likely to never need any additional treatment.
Why? Because their body turns off. Hormones go away and there’s nothing to nurture or fertilize the fibroids to grow. We have to look at the age of the patient and number of previous fibroids that may have been removed that may put her at an increased risk for more of them to develop.