For women suffering with uterine fibroids, at some point many of them will face a decision regarding surgery. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the vast majority of them are not told about Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) as a potential treatment option.
If you are suffering with fibroids, and you are not interested in fertility, you will likely only get one treatment option: hysterectomy. While hysterectomy is AN option, it should be the last resort; not the only option. If you are one of the women facing a fibroid surgery, please look into UFE. Almost 100% of women who were told they needed hysterectomy for fibroids, were also candidates for UFE. The biggest problem is they were never offered UFE as an option.
Sometimes UFE is brought up as an option either by the Gynecologist or the patient herself. Unfortunately, all too often the patient is told that she is not a candidate for UFE. Why? There are a number of reasons given which should not be taken at face value, but rather discussed with an experienced Interventional Radiologist that performs UFE. Below are listed a number of reasons given to patients for why they are not a candidate for UFE, but which are totally false.
- “You have too many fibroids”: It does not matter how many fibroids a patient has. UFE treats all of the fibroids and that’s why it is usually only necessary for a patient to undergo the UFE procedure once.
- “Your fibroids are too big”: There were some studies many years ago that showed a poorer success and increased complication rate for UFE patients if their dominant fibroid was >10 cm. This has been disproven by numerous more recently performed studies that show an equally high success rate of ~90% and equally low complication rate irrespective of the size of the fibroids.
- “If you did the UFE, you would get excruciating pain”: While some women have a rough go with pelvic pain for a few days, this is unusual due to more recent advances in pain protocols used before, during, and after the procedure. It does point out the importance for having your UFE procedure performed by the most experienced IR physician.
- “You don’t need your uterus because you are done having kids”: The uterus is very important to women beyond just child-bearing. Women who undergo hysterectomy will often say it affected them psychologically (losing the epicenter of what makes them a woman), sexually (loss of libido, orgasm), increased bone loss, urinary incontinence, to name a few.
- “UFE won’t work and you will need a hysterectomy anyway”: UFE’s success rate is 90%. There is a small percentage of cases that initially hasn’t brought significant relief to the patient, but even in these patients, it is usually something that can be corrected with a second procedure.
Before considering fibroid surgery make sure you get a second opinion from an experienced Interventional Radiologist about UFE. Today there are safer and less invasive procedures to treat fibroids. UFE is the most successful of these, and one with the longest track record of patient safety. To learn more about UFE and its benefits for women’s health, contact the Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-214-4600 or make an appointment online.