What It's For ?
Uterine fibroid are a common condition of the uterus, which is a benign growth (not a cancer) that grows over time. They occur in about 25 to 50% of all women. Fibroids are most common in women aged 30-40 years, but they can occur at any age. Many women have fibroids and do not have any negative effects; but some women experience heavy bleeding, pain, feel pressure or even miscarriages and infertility. Fibroids may be detected with variety of tests like ultrasonography, hysteroscopy, CT scan or MRI scan.
Treatment is required in cases where patients have above mentioned symptoms. Earlier surgical removal of fibroid was the only way to treat these patients. Recently Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) has emerged as more effective way to treat uterine fibroids without surgery. The procedure is performed by an experienced interventional cardiologist or physician specially trained to perform uterine artery embolization. UAE has advantage of being minimally invasive and having durable effect. The embolization procedure involves only making small cut in the groin and has lower risk.
How it’s Done ?
Usually this procedure requires hospitalization 2 hrs before procedure time with 6 hrs fasting and patient can be discharged on the next morning. In this procedure, a small tube (catheter) is advanced through groin into uterine blood vessels (artery). An X-ray and dye is used to guide the tube into uterine blood vessels. When the catheter is placed into uterine blood vessels, small particles are injected those will block the small vessels that supplies the fibroid. After completing the procedure, the site of skin puncture is cleaned and bandaged. Heavy bleeding due to fibroid improves during the first menstrual cycle following the procedure. Pain and pressure improve within few weeks. UAE should not be done in women who have no symptoms from their fibroid tumors; when cancer is a possibility; or when the kidneys are not working properly.
Patients ordinarily can resume their usual activities weeks earlier than if they had a hysterectomy. Blood loss during uterine fibroid embolization is minimal, the recovery time is much shorter than for hysterectomy, and general anesthesia is not required. Follow-up studies have shown that approximately 85 percent of women who have their fibroids treated by uterine fibroid embolization experience either significant reduction or complete resolution of their fibroid-related symptoms. Follow-up studies lasting several years have shown that it is rare for treated fibroids to regrow or for new fibroids to develop after uterine fibroid embolization.
Uterine artery embolization is also an effective way to treat massive bleeding after pregnancy – a condition called postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). It helps in avoiding major surgery to manage postpartum haemorrhage.