WHAT ARE UTERINE FIBROIDS?
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus occurring in the uterine muscular layer. It is a relatively common disease affecting 30-40% percent of women. In about 5% of cases, they become symptomatic and result in symptoms such as pelvic pain, pressure, abdominal distention, heavy bleeding and pain during intercourse. Sometimes, they can also cause problems with fertility. Diagnosis of uterine fibroids is relatively straightforward using ultrasound or MRI.
WHEN SHOULD FIBROIDS BE TREATED?
Fibroids should be treated once they are symptomatic.
WHAT IS UTERINE FIBROID EMBOLIZATION?
Uterine fibroid embolization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure performed by interventional radiologists with less risk, less pain and less recovery time when compared to conventional surgical treatment.
Using X-rayas guidance, a small tube or catheter is placed in the artery feeding the fibroid through a tiny incision made in the groin or forearm. Small embolic particles are then injected into the artery to block the blood flow to the fibroid which will result in shrinkage of the fibroid and decrease the abnormal bleeding as it will no longer receive oxygen or nutrients.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF UFE?
Some of the main advantages of UFE over surgery are:
- Minimal or no hospital stay.
- No scarring.
- Faster recovery.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER UFE?
After the procedure, patients are usually admitted overnight in the hospital to manage pain that may result from the procedure. The patient is discharged home, usually the second day on oral pain medication. Normal activity can be resumed about one week after the procedure.