Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Fibroids (also called as leiomyomas) are benign (noncancerous) swellings of the muscle wall of the womb (uterus). These are not uncommon in women in the reproductive age group. They occur as single or multiple masses & vary in size enormously – from that of grapes to that of pumpkins.
What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat fibroid tumors of the uterus which can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, and pressure on the bladder or bowel. It uses a form of real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy to guide the delivery of embolic agents to the uterus and fibroids. These agents block the arteries that provide blood to the fibroids and cause them to shrink. Studies have shown that nearly 90 percent of women who undergo UFE experience significant or complete resolution of their fibroid-related symptoms.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is one of the recent advances in treating fibroids, performed by an interventional radiologist through a small needle hole. The flexible plastic tube called as catheter is inserted and guided to the blood vessels supplying the fibroid. Once the catheter is in the proper position, small particles are injected which block the blood vessels and deprive the fibroid of nutrients, resulting in shrinkage of the fibroid. Even though the fibroids shrink gradually over few months, patients see improvement in symptoms as early as few days to few months.
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