Researchers are always looking for more efficient ways to treat patients with less risk for possible complications.
If you suffer with the symptoms of fibroids, you know that the discomfort and pain can interfere with your everyday activities. For those considering treatment options for fibroids, you may be interested to know that a recent UFE study shows promising findings.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
UFE is a minimally invasive alternative to a hysterectomy or myomectomy, which are both surgical procedures to remove fibroid tumors in the uterus. With an incision the size of the point of a pencil, a catheter is threaded into the blood vessel supplying blood to the fibroid. Particles made of gel or plastic are injected through the catheter to suppress the blood flow. By cutting off nutrients to the fibroid, they will gradually begin to shrink and eventually die.
This procedure has already been deemed as an effective fibroid treatment option, but a new study has helped to define the differences and similarities compared to myomectomy outcomes and complications.
New UFE Study Results
A study was recently announced by the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, which conducted research that followed nine hundred fifty women for a total of 7 years. Half had been treated using a uterine fibroid emboliztion procedure, and the other half by myomectomy.
The results were presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology annual meeting in Texas on March 25, 2019. Some of the conclusions were as follows:
- Both procedures were similarly effective to treat fibroids
- Women who had myomectomy had a higher rate of postoperative complications.
- The need for blood transfusions was 2.9% for those who had the myomectomy, whereas only 1.9% needed transfusions with UFE.
- This result indicates UFE is less expensive.
- UFE produced more favorable outcomes
The chairman of the Department of OBGYN, Dr. David Mootabar from Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, NY reviewed all the findings. His comments included, “Uterine Artery Embolization is an excellent alternative to surgical treatment that is possibly underutilized. This study reinforces what we’ve known for a while. The lower rate of complications is well established.”
He qualified his comment by adding that UFE isn’t for every woman. Someone with a quickly growing fibroid might be at a higher risk for cancer. Although this is uncommon, women should speak to Gregory Eads, M.D. about their own circumstances before making a decision about fibroid treatment.
Additional Benefits of UFE
Choosing UFE over myomectomy has some additional benefits. There is less pain, a shorter recovery time with UFE, and there is a lessened risk in the amount of bleeding the patient is likely to experience afterward.
You may be a good candidate for UFE if you have excessive menstrual bleeding, fibroids that cause pain or that are pressing on the bladder or rectum, and/or if you do not want a hysterectomy.
Note that all findings at meetings are considered preliminary until they appear in a peer reviewed printed journal. These promising findings will undoubtedly be followed by more studies to be conducted in the future.
If you are experiencing fibroid pain and excessive bleeding, contact The Women’s Centre for Well Being at (832) 813-0979 to determine if UFE is the best treatment option for you.