Uterine Fibroid Embolization
An Effective, Non-Surgical Option to Treat Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the wall of the uterus. They affect about 1 in 5 women in the United States. The cause of uterine fibroid tumors is unknown. They tend to be more common in African-American women than in Caucasian women.
Fibroids occur in 20-40% of women age 35 and over. The fibroids are diagnosed by physical exam and confirmed by ultrasound or MRI. Those patients whose symptoms are not relieved by medical therapy have additional therapeutic options, consisting of surgery and fibroid embolization.
According to the American Academy of Family Practice, uterine fibroids account for 60 percent of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed in the United States each year.
A non-surgical treatment for fibroids is being performed at South Nassau. Called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), the procedure uses X-rays to guide the delivery of tiny particles to an artery in the uterus via a catheter inserted into the groin. The particles block the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink significantly in size.
UFE is performed with conscious sedation and does not require general anesthesia. After an overnight hospital stay, patients typically return to work or daily activities within seven to ten days. The recurrence rate of fibroids after embolization ranges from 10 to 27 percent. The majority of women who have fibroid embolization experience either significant or complete resolution of their symptoms.
On average, fibroids will shrink to 40 percent of their original volume after three months after the embolization procedure. After one year, they typically shrink 60 percent.
Embolization of fibroids was first performed to help decrease blood loss during a hysterectomy. An estimated 14,000 uterine fibroid embolizations are performed in the United States each year.
UFE is safe, well tolerated and highly successful; however, it is not recommended for women who plan to have children because no long-term studies exist on the procedure’s effects on fertility.
Candidates for the procedure include premenopausal women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding and pain and do not plan to have children, or postmenopausal women who suffer from pelvic discomfort and urinary frequency, urgency or incontinence due to the size and number of uterine fibroids.
For an appointment, please call the hospital’s Interventional Radiology Department at 1-877-SOUTH-NASSAU (768-8462) .
About the Doctors:
Compliance and Privacy Policies for Vendors and Patients