Three out of four women develop uterine fibroids. Many women are unaware of them, but if you experience heavy periods, pelvic pain, frequent urination, and/or constipation/ bloating, there is a non-surgical solution!!!
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow on or within the muscle tissue of the uterus. Approximately 20-40% of women 35 years and older have fibroid tumors. Fibroids are more common among women of African- American descent. Some statistics indicate that up to 80% of African-American women will develop uterine fibroids.
The size of fibroids range from very small (walnut size) to as large as a cantaloupe. Additionally, there can either be one dominant fibroid or a cluster of many small fibroid tumors.
Numerous women with fibroids don’t have any visible symptoms, however, in other women fibroids can cause heavy bleeding during the menstrual period. Signs of fibroids may also include pain or a feeling of pressure or heaviness in the lower pelvic area (the area between the hip bones), the back or the legs. Some women have pain during sexual intercourse. Others have a constant feeling that they need to urinate. There may also be a feeling of pressure in the bowel. Some women experience bloating or constipation.
Fibroids are hormonally sensitive so symptoms are likely to be cyclical, like menstruation. As estrogen levels tend to increase prior to the onset of menopause, this may cause the size of many uterine fibroids to increase.
How are fibroids treated?
Once you have been diagnosed with fibroids, your doctor will discuss with you the various fibroid tumor treatments available. It is important to be sure to discuss all of these fibroid treatment options with your physician to see what is the best option for you:
- Diagnosis and Watchful Waiting
- Pharmaceutical Fibroid Tumor Treatments (Birth control pills or GnRH Agonists)
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of partial or entire uterus)
- Myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroid tumors)
Non-surgical Option: Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization, also known as artery embolization, is a procedure where an interventional radiologist uses a catheter A Non-Surgical Option For Fibroids:
Uterine Fibroid Embolization to deliver Embosphere® Microspheres that block the blood supply to the fibroids. This is a minimally-invasive, non-surgical therapy that treats all fibroids.
This fibroid treatment usually takes less than one hour. Clinical data suggests that patients treated with Embosphere® Microspheres return to work and daily activities on average within 11 days.
Potential benefits of UFE include:
• Preservation of the uterus
• Decrease in menstrual bleeding from symptomatic fibroids
• Decrease in urinary dysfunction
• Decrease in pelvic pain and/or pressure
• No surgical removal of the uterus and possible need of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
• Virtually no blood loss
• Covered by most insurance companies
• Out-patient procedure (generally 10 to 23 hours)
• More confidence with less chance of soiling events
• Overall significant improvement in patient's physical and emotional well-being Overall, UFE is a safe procedure for treating symptomatic fibroids with minimal risk. Overall, 96% of patients indicated they were happy with their twelve month outcome, and would recommend UFE to a friend.
How do I know if this procedure is right for me?
You may be a candidate for uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolization (UAE), if you fit into any of the following categories:
• Women who are experiencing the symptoms of uterine fibroids
• Women who do not desire future fertility • Women who want to retain their uterus, and so are pursuing hysterectomy alternatives
• Women who do not desire surgery
• Women who may be poor surgical candidates; i.e. obesity, bleeding disorders, anemia
• Women who are not pregnant
Once you have determined that you may be a candidate for uterine artery embolization based upon the above criteria, then you will need some physician input to help you decide how to best treat your uterine fibroids.
A consultation with an Interventional Radiologist (IR) will educate you on how he or she coordinates your care with an OB/GYN. The role of the IR is to be the specialist in this procedure; providing you clinical information regarding how uterine artery embolization works to treat symptomatic fibroids. The IR also serves as your immediate post-procedure contact for any questions or concerns. The IR informs your OB/GYN of the care given to you.
Your OB/GYN remains the primary caregiver for your reproductive health. The OB/GYN also provides the pre-procedure test required before uterine artery embolization. Results of these tests are shared with the IR. Working together, your IR and OB/GYN provide you the best possible care for your symptomatic uterine fibroids.
To speak with a medical professional about Uterine Fibroid Embolization and/or schedule a consult in the Seminole County area:
• Florida Hospital – (407) 303-5600 press 1, and then ext 6168 for Cathy
• Orlando Regional Medical Center – (407) 649-6823 for Jo
• Winter Park Memorial Hospital – (407) 646-7519 for Jacquie
Or to learn more about the procedure please visit: www.ask4ufe.com