The fibroids shrink because embolization cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients which had allowed the fibroid to grow. The uterus has other sources of blood so it is not effected. With the shrinkage of the fibroid, uterine fibroid embolization has a high record of success at controlling symptoms. Recurrence of fibroids is rare.
What Are the Types of Fibroids?
There are three basic types of fibroids, classified according to their location in the uterus:
- Subserosal Fibroids develop in the outer portion of the uterus and continue to grow outward
- Intramural Fibroids are the most common type and develop in the uterine wall and expand
- Submucosal Fibroids are the least common and develop within the uterine cavity, causing excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding
How Do You Know If You Have Fibroids?
Some fibroids produce mild or no symptoms, while others can cause considerable pain and pressure, and limit the way you conduct your life. These are the most common symptoms:
Abnormal Menstrual Cycle
- Abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding
- Abnormally heavy menstrual periods that occur more frequently than normal cycle (less than 28-30 days)
Pelvic Pain and Pressure
- Painful menstrual periods
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Pressure on the bladder causing frequent urination
- Acute or severe pelvic pain
How Are Fibroids Diagnosed?
The uterine fibroid diagnosis is usually based on your symptoms and a routine gynecological internal exam. While an ultrasound exam at an OB-GYN can detect the presence of a tumor, only magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can determine if a tumor can be embolized and distinguish alternate causes for the symptoms.
We work with your OB-GYN to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis, offer better treatment options and deliver better outcomes.
- Myomectomy removes fibroids and leaves the uterus intact but is a complicated procedure with a 15-25% chance of having to be repeated.
- Hysterectomy is 100% curative, but is major surgery (removes the uterus) and often results in early menopause.
- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical treatment with quickest recovery.
The Benefits of UFE over Other Treatments
- Performed using moderate IV sedation, Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is far less invasive with fewer complications than open surgery
- No surgical incision is made, only a small nick in the skin that doesn’t need stitches
- Patients return to work and normal activities weeks earlier than surgery patients
- Recurrence of fibroids is rare
- UFE is effective for treatment of large and multiple fibroids
- UFE IS COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE PLANS
- Effective for large and multiple fibroids
- Return to work and normal activities within 7-10 days