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Endoscopic management of uterine fibroids.

Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumours of the uterus. Management depends on the symptoms, location and size of the fibroids, and the patient's desire to conceive. Surgical management of uterine fibroids has changed from laparotomy to minimally invasive surgery. Uterine fibroids are usually asymptomatic and do not require treatment. Laparoscopic myomectomy is the best treatment option for symptomatic women with uterine fibroids who wish to maintain their fertility. The authors' criteria for laparoscopic myomectomy are a fibroid of <15 cm in size, and no more than three fibroids with a size of 5 cm. Compared with laparotomy, laparoscopic myomectomy has the advantages of small incisions, short hospital stay, less postoperative pain, rapid recovery and good assessment of other abdominal organs. Due to the concern of decreased ovarian reserve, uterine artery embolization is not advisable for these women. In addition, it is associated with high risks of miscarriages, preterm delivery and postpartum bleeding. Laparoscopic myolysis causes severe adhesion formation. Women with submucous fibroids receive myomectomy by hysteroscopy. For women who have completed their family, laparoscopic hysterectomy could be performed. Most fibroids can be managed endoscopically either by laparoscopy or hysteroscopy. Surgeon expertise, especially laparoscopic suturing, is crucial. Laparoscopic myomectomy is still the best treatment option for symptomatic women with uterine fibroids who wish to maintain their fertility. Hysteroscopic myomectomy is an established surgical procedure for women with excessive uterine bleeding, infertility or repeated miscarriages.

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