Many of us experience the pain, bloating and mess of menstrual bleeding from uterine fibroids. For some women, symptoms from fibroids can impact quality of life. Finding the right treatment for you is key.
Sponsored Content, By Interventional Radiologist at ARA Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Connie Hsu
Do you have fibroid symptoms?
You may notice your menstrual periods are very heavy and that you bleed longer and even between periods. Women can develop anemia from heavy menstrual blood loss and experience devastating symptoms, including extreme fatigue and weakness. Fibroids can cause pelvic pain from severe cramping or from pressure on other organs. This pressure can cause back pain, frequent urination, bloating and constipation. Some women have pain during intercourse that interferes with their intimate lives.
Get freedom from fibroids with uterine fibroid embolization.
Uterine fibroid embolization, also known as UFE, is a nonsurgical procedure for women with fibroids. It has been recognized by the American College of Gynecology to be a safe option for women who desire to keep their uterus. Very often, women end up having hysterectomies because they are not aware there are nonsurgical ways of both keeping the uterus and getting rid of fibroids. UFE is offered in both the outpa- tient and hospital setting. The procedure is performed with moderate sedation. We enter your circulatory system through a small nick in the wrist or the groin and guide a tiny catheter to both uterine arteries, where we deposit FDA-approved particles. These block the blood supply to all the fibroids at once, causing them to shrink with time just as they naturally would during menopause. Post-procedure, you’ll have just a small bandage on the entry point.
What are fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are growths in the uterine muscle cells. These are not cancerous but over time, they can grow to a large size and cause unpleasant symptoms. About 20 percent to 40 percent of women will develop symptoms related to fibroids by the age of 50.
How long is recovery from UFE?
With UFE, we usually ask patients to take off about a week, which is less than the necessary time off and recovery after surgical options. Plus, UFE is typically an outpatient procedure, so you get to recover in the comfort of your home.
Is the UFE procedure painful?
In this procedure, we use moderate sedation, so you will receive medication to control pain and relax you through your IV in order to have a positive experience. The first 48 hours after UFE can bring some pain and discomfort, which is managed with pain medication. The fibroids are no longer receiving blood, and this can cause cramping as they die.
Is the UFE procedure safe?
UFE has a low complication rate compared with surgical options. With surgery, there is potential injury to the bowel, ureter or bladder and the possibility of causing adhesions (scar tissue) in your abdomen, which can bring problems in the future. Some surgical patients are at risk of developing hernias at the incision sites, which is not a risk with UFE.
For more information about uterine fibroid embolization, please visit ausrad.com/ufe or call 512.467.9729 for a consultation.