Do You Have Fibroids and Plan to Have a Hysterectomy? Here’s What you Need to Know

Many women diagnosed with fibroids are often told by their doctors that the best treatment is a hysterectomy however, if you suffer from fibroids, a hysterectomy isn't the only option; in fact a hysterectomy should perhaps be your last option.

A non-invasive treatment, uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) has proven to be a safe and effective option. UFE is a minimally invasive procedure in which the blood flow of the uterus is intentionally reduced causing the fibroid tumors to shrink. It alleviates or improves fibroid symptoms 90% of the time. UFE is performed by making a tiny nick in the skin in the groin and inserting a tube, known as a catheter, into the femoral artery. Using x-ray imaging, the catheter is guided through the arterial system and into the arteries supplying the uterus. Tiny particles, the size of grains of sand are then injected into the uterine arteries to block the blood flow which starves and destroys the fibroid.

At South Florida Vascular Associates our Board Certified endovascular surgeons, Dr. William Julien and Dr. Curtis Anderson have performed thousands of uterine fibroid embolizations in our outpatient facility, conveniently located in our office and it does not require an overnight stay. Pain-killing medications and drugs that control swelling typically are prescribed following the procedure to treat cramping and pain. Many women can resume light activities in a few days and the majority of women are able to return to normal activities within seven to ten days.

Benefits of UFE over hysterectomy

About Fibroids

Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous growths in or on the walls of the uterus, or womb. They can range from less than an inch in diameter to more than six inches. African-American women and those with a family history are more likely to have fibroids than women of other racial groups. Fibroids affect close to 50 percent of African-American women over the age of 40 and are prone to having larger and more fibroids. Fibroids can also develop at a younger age.

Fibroids also affect more than 40 percent of women over the age of 40 and are often found in women immediately prior to menopause (ages 45-50) because they have more unopposed estrogen which causes them to experience rapid growth of their fibroids.

Many fibroids cause no symptoms and are only discovered when a woman has a routine pelvic examination. However, if you do experience fibroid symptoms, medical attention is necessary. Symptoms may include:

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, we invite you to call our office today for a consultation to determine whether UFE is an option for you.

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