British Fibroid Trust Woman2Woman Fibroid Support Fibroids: Patient Guide
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How Is Fibroid Diagnosed?
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If the fibroids are large enough to cause symptoms, your doctor can tell them by pelvic examination. Sometimes, they bulge out from your lower abdomen even you don't have symptoms.
To confirm diagnosis, the doctor will do ultrasound scan, hysteroscopic examination, laparoscopic examination, MRI or CT scans.
  1. Ultrasound scan
    There are 2 types of ultrasound used for diagnosis of fibroids:

    Types of Ultrasound Scans
    Abdominal Pelvic Transvaginal
    This uses a probe. The sonographer applies a "cold" gel on your tummy then presses the probe to the abdomen to get an image.
    Before the scan, you will be asked to drink up to 1 litre of water, hold it and only empty the bladder after she/he finishes the scan.
    This uses a wand which is inserted into the vagina to produce an image. This type of scan should be painless unless there is a large fibroid causing abdominal tenderness which makes you feel some discomfort.

  2. Hysteroscopic examination
    A procedure to look inside the womb under local or general anaesthetic. A surgeon inserts into the vagina a tiny telescope that is attached to a camera.
    A picture is shown on the monitor. At the same time, the gynaecologist may look for polyps and also take a small sample of the lining of the womb for testing.
    This test is often used together with ultrasound scan to confirm diagnosis.
  3. Laparoscopic examination
    Under general anaesthetics, the gynaecologist makes a small cut in the abdomen near the navel (belly button) and then inserts a laparoscope (a tube with a light and camera). This allows him/her to look at the size & shape of the outside of the womb and other organs on the monitor. Pictures may also be taken.
    Sometimes, air is pumped into the abdomen as part of the procedure which can leave you feel bloated.
    This procedure takes approx 30 minutes.
    Often, it is used together with ultrasound to confirm diagnosis.
    For a more detailed description of this laparoscopic procedure including how to prepare for the this test, click here.
  4. MRI and CT
    These techniques will only be used when the ultrasound scans have not given a clear result or when a more detailed information is required.
    MRT & CT are not normally used as first choice for confirmation of fibroids.
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.

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 Thursday 26 November 2009 10:19 pm.

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