The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday discussing alternatives to surgery for women who need their fibroid disease treated. Fibroids have traditionally been treated with hysterectomy, or sometimes with laparoscopic myomectomy (fibroid removal). However, in the last several months, women have been unable to have laparoscopic surgery due to the recall of the ‘morcellator’, the device used to remove the fibroid during surgery.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE for short) is a newer, non-surgical procedure which allows doctors to shrink troublesome fibroids but with a less invasive technique. The Fibroid Treatment Center specializes in UFE providing a comprehensive center for the diagnosis of fibroids, UFE, and recovery. Instead of having surgery to remove the uterus or the fibroid, our center can shut down the blood supply to the fibroid which quickly causes the fibroid to shrink. The procedure also can immediately control heavy bleeding caused by fibroids, one of the most debilitating symptoms of fibroid disease.
Our website has several pictures, videos, and more information on UFE as an option for fibroid disease. Watch this video to see an actual UFE procedure done at our center:
Women who would like to read the full WSJ article here, of by visiting WSJ.com.
The Fibroid Treatment Center has been designated as a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Center of Excellence by Merit Medical. Merit is one of the leading companies in the world supplying equipment for UFE procedures and monitors physicians across the globe. We are proud to be the only center within 25 miles of our location who is designated as a Center of Excellence (COE).
Women who are considering UFE as a treatment option for their fibroid disease should consider being seen at a center who specializes in this treatment, and who is a designated COE. Merit Medical has an ‘Ask4UFE‘ webpage that can direct a women to a COE in their area.
Although fibroid disease usually affects women who have already had their families, we often see women who are planning on starting a family in the future. One of the biggest concerns about any fibroid treatment is fertility after treatment.
First, fibroid disease is not a contraindication for becoming pregnant. Often women with small fibroids go on to deliver healthy, full term babies. If their fibroids are small and do not affect the lining of the uterus, no treatment for young women is needed.
However, when fibroids become much larger, they compress the normal uterus cavity making it difficult to complete a healthy full term pregnancy. Often women will have miscarriages due to their fibroid disease. Once this occurs, treatment is an important next step.
Fibroid embolization is commonly performed on women who later go on to deliver healthy babies. The American College of Gynecology (ACOG) has reviewed UFE for young women and concluded that: successful pregnancies are seen in women who otherwise have high infertility rates (women with fibroids).
(From The American College of Gynecology Clinical Guidelines)
Although further research is needed to clearly say what the fertility rate is in women with fibroid disease, and then after UFE, almost 50% of women become pregnant after UFE if desired. Although if one large fibroid is causing symptoms and myomectomy could be a good option, if there are multiple fibroids causing symptoms, UFE is an obvious choice over hysterectomy on preserving fertility.