Women of childbearing age can suffer from uterine fibroids. The devastating reality is the hopelessness of not being able to conceive children. Many visit their OBGYNs who ultimately prescribe a hysterectomy which offers devastating news for these young women. As science progresses, Interventional Radiologists are now performing uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) which is a safe and effective procedure for treating symptomatic uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids are the most common type of tumors seen as it relates to women’s reproductive systems. Oftentimes these tumors are benign and non-cancerous. Some instances cause life-threatening bleeding leading to emergency blood transfusions and emergency hysterectomy. Uterine fibroids can cause heavy and painful periods, pressure on the pelvis, bloating, increased urination, as well as constipation. Fibroids vary greatly in size, with some being the size of small pebbles. On the larger end of the spectrum, severe fibroids have ended up nearly as large as a grapefruit. Adenomyosis is another condition where some of the same symptoms may occur – this condition can also be a source of pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, cramping, as well as pelvic pressure.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization, UFE, also known as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a non-surgical treatment for fibroids that provides relief and the reduction or complete treatment of fibroid symptoms. A UFE procedure is an ideal option as an alternative to a hysterectomy and as a means of preserving the uterus along with the potential for maintaining fertility. There are reports of fertility after a UFE procedure, however, more data is coming out that shows that a Uterine Fibroid Embolization is comparable to a Myomectomy.
The choice lies in the hands of women suffering from uterine fibroids. At the end of the day, each case is different and due diligence is our number one goal. If your OBGYN is prescribing a Myomectomy and the entire procedure is too invasive for you, this is the time to get a second opinion with Dr. Omar Saleh. He can review your case, look at your medical charts and offer his recommendations. Not everyone qualifies for a UFE, but it offers many benefits over a Myomectomy.
This happens and the frustration of going through surgery again can be really stressful. Your bleeding is now causing low hemoglobin blood counts and this has to be addressed quickly. If you aren’t sure if you qualify health-wise for a UFE, the best thing is to visit Dr. Saleh who will be able to tell if your condition is suitable for a UFE. If it is, you might just save yourself major surgery with a same-day outpatient procedure.
The answer is yes, depending on your medical condition. Many doctors will turn to a hysterectomy as a first means of treatment for uterine fibroids, but UFE is a procedure that is quickly becoming the preferred alternative. A UFE can reduce the number of complications and reduce the pain and blood loss commonly associated with uterine fibroids. The recovery time of a UFE procedure versus a hysterectomy is much shorter, with common recovery times averaging under a week. After that recovery time, patients are typically able to resume normal activities and exercise.
UFE is performed by inserting a small catheter into the patient’s artery – the small incision is usually made at the groin or wrist. A fellowship-trained Interventional Radiologist will then guide the catheter to the fibroid’s blood supply where tiny microspherical particles are released. These particulates travel down the uterine artery and block the vascular supply to the fibroid. The result is a shrinking fibroid and relief from common symptoms. One of the complications of fibroids is extensive uterine bleeding. This can result in severe anemia causing weakness, and debilitating quality of life and carrying out daily activities. In some rare instances, fibroids can cause life-threatening uterine bleeding leading to emergency blood transfusions and a possible emergency hysterectomy. It is serious enough to consult Dr. Saleh who is the best Interventional Radiologist and is equipped to provide you with options to treat a serious problem.
Learn more about how Dr. Saleh treats uterine fibroids with uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) HERE