Uterine fibroids are the leading cause of women undergoing a hysterectomy, even though most women prefer a uterus preserving treatment option.
TREATMENT FOR UTERINE FIBROIDS
Up to 80% of women will develop uterine fibroids by the age of 50, but only about 25% will have symptoms that require treatment. African American women have a greater risk of developing fibroids, and a higher percentage of women who have fibroids will experience symptoms from them.
Unfortunately, women with symptoms from fibroids, including heavy periods, wait an average of 4 years before trying to seek treatment. And many women may only speak with their gynecologist about fibroid symptoms and treatment, and will not learn about uterine fibroid embolization from an interventional radiologist. Follow these steps to prepare for a uterine fibroid embolization procedure.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR FIBROID TREATMENT OPTIONS
In one study, 51% of women who had symptomatic uterine fibroids felt that it was important to have a treatment option that preserved the uterus regardless of whether they wanted to plan a pregnancy or not. The percentage of women under 40 who wanted a uterus sparing treatment option was significantly higher. However, a hysterectomy is still the most widely used treatment.
Knowing the benefits and risks of each type of fibroid procedure can help you and your physicians make the best decision for your treatment plan.
The majority of hysterectomies performed in the US, about 600,000 procedures, are performed because of uterine fibroids. A hysterectomy typically requires an average of more than 2 days in the hospital and a 2-6 week recovery period, much longer than the recovery for UFE.
A myomectomy is another uterus-sparing treatment option where the fibroid tumors are cute up, typically with a morcellator, and removed from the uterus. However, up to 1/3 of fibroids recur after a myomectomy and about 10% of women who have a myomectomy will undergo a hysterectomy in 5-10 years.
UTERINE FIBROID EMBOLIZATION
UFE is a safe and effective outpatient procedure to preserve the uterus and shrink uterine fibroids by cutting off the blood flow. The uterus stays in place, but all symptoms from fibroids can be treated. An incision is only made in the groin or wrist to use a catheter to reach the fibroids.
90% of women experienced major improvements in fibroid symptoms after uterine fibroid embolization.
Hysterectomy vs UFE – Which Fibroid Treatment is Best for Me?
Do you have symptoms caused by fibroids? Schedule an appointment to learn about the UFE procedure.