Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the muscular layers of the uterus. They are a common occurrence among women of childbearing age. In some cases, uterine fibroids do not cause symptoms and will go away on their own. However, in other cases, they can cause symptoms such as pain, excessive menstrual bleeding and infertility. Fortunately, there are now a number of minimally invasive management options that can be used to manage uterine fibroids.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a minimally-invasive, gynecologic procedure that can be used to treat uterine fibroids. It is performed by a radiologist, with the use of sedative medications. First, a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is placed into a blood vessel in the upper thigh (femoral artery). A substance called contrast material is then injected into the catheter. The radiologist uses real-time X-ray on a video screen (fluoroscopy) to see the arteries and then guides the catheter to the arteries that supply blood to the fibroid. A solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles is injected into those uterine arteries through the catheter. These particles build up in the targeted arteries and block blood flow to the fibroid. This procedure typically takes anywhere from one to three hours. In some cases, patients can return home on bed rest the same day as the procedure. In other cases, an overnight hospital stay is needed.
The purpose of the UFE procedure is to shrink or destroy the fibroids. This treatment is recommended for women who have not yet reached Menopause, do not want a hysterectomy and do not plan to be pregnant in the future. In some cases, UFE can be used in conjunction with another procedure: the Myosure Hysteroscopic Resection. This novel approach is very advanced and extremely effective. Dr. Carlos Alarcon of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates is highly experienced in treating uterine fibroids using Myosure Hysteroscopic Resection. On June 10, 2014, he will appear on the TopDocsRadio show with Dr. John Lipman to discuss their co-management of uterine fibroids using UFE and Myosure Hysteroscopic Resection. If you would like to get more information about minimally invasive management options for fibroids, we invite you to tune in live on Tuesday, June 10 by clicking on www.topdocs.businessradiox.com.