Uterine fibroids are the most the common tumor of the female reproductive tract. If you are one of the many women who suffer from uterine fibroids and are confused or worried about what treatment you should have, it’s important to know your options. There are risks involved in any medical procedure, as well as other things to consider, such as time off work, success rates, quality of life after the procedure, and more.
Many women often elect to have a surgical procedure to treat fibroids; however, whether laproscopic or invasive, there are many more risks involved in surgery. According to an article published by University of California San Francisco (UCSF), “Uterine fibroids are the most common reason to undergo hysterectomy. The last 15 years have seen a rise in the use of minimally invasive laparoscopy to perform hysterectomy, enabled by the use of power morcellators, which break uterine fibroids into small pieces to be removed via tiny laparoscopic incisions.” The study by UCSF goes on to explain that in 2014 “the FDA issued a safety communication discouraging the use of power morcellators, warning that the device could potentially spread undetected cancerous tissue.” This major concern has caused many gynecologists to revert back to the most invasive way of treating fibroids—hysterectomy.
Though hysterectomy is chosen almost by default, there is another way of treating fibroids without surgery called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). This minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure that takes only 30 to 45 minutes. During the treatment, our medical team will make sure you are comfortable. Our interventional radiologists will give you a light sedative to help you relax and begin using ultrasound technology to locate the fibroids. After being given a localized anesthetic, a very small incision is made in the upper thigh, and a tiny image-guided catheter is inserted into the femoral artery. Tiny, sand-like particles flow through the catheter and block the arteries that supply blood to the fibroid tumor. With their blood supply cut off, the fibroids shrink and eventually die. The patient can go home after the treatment, and make a full recovery in one to two weeks.
After UFE, women typically report shorter and lighter menstrual periods, increased energy, no pelvic pain and pressure, pain-free sexual intercourse, no frequent urination, no constipation and bloating, and no pain in the back and legs. Research has shown the success rate for UFE is 95% and a majority of women experience an improved quality of life after a UFE procedure. This is what makes UFE the gold standard in fibroid treatment.
USA Fibroid Centers is proud to offer UFE as an alternative to surgery when it comes to helping so many women heal and get their lives back. If you are considering treatment options for your fibroids, call (855) 667-4247 to schedule a consultation with our leading interventional radiologists. Treatments at USA Fibroid Centers are covered by Medicare, most insurance plans, and Medicaid.