Treatment for Women with Uterine Fibroids
Many women are now choosing a procedure called uterine artery embolization (UAE) to treat uterine fibroids. Medications may help shrink fibroids and surgery can be performed to remove the fibroids (myomectomy) or the uterus (hysterectomy). But medications aren't always effective, and many women are reluctant to undergo major invasive surgery.
How Uterine Artery Embolization Works
During uterine artery embolization, an interventional radiologist makes a tiny cut in the groin area, inserts a thin catheter into the groin and uses imaging technology to guide the catheter to the uterus. The physician then injects tiny particles into the arteries on both sides of the uterus, which block blood flow to the uterine fibroids. Without a supply of blood, the fibroids shrink over time.
For more information on Interventional Radiology procedures, please call 941-745-7217.
Effectiveness of Uterine Artery Embolization
Fibroid embolization has shown to be very effective in reducing bleeding and alleviating pain. Many women have described significant change in their symptoms within days. Since the procedure avoids surgery, many women can go back to routine daily activities by the next day.
After the Procedure
Fibroid embolization usually requires a hospital stay of one night. Total recovery generally takes one to two weeks, but can take longer. Fibroid embolization is considered to be very safe; however, there are some associated risks, as there are with almost any medical procedure. You may have a low-grade fever for about one week after the procedure, and you may also experience moderate to strong cramping pain for one to two weeks.
Recovery time for patients undergoing transcatheter embolotherapy for fibroids is approximately one week. Vaginal spotting and discharge may occur for several weeks after completion of the procedure.