Dear Dr. Lipman,
I have fibroids and horrible symptoms, but I’m interested in having children. I was told by my doctor that I can’t have a UFE. Is that true?
No, that’s absolutely not true. Women that have symptomatic fibroids can have UFE even if they’re interested in a future pregnancy.
If you’re interested in UFE, make sure you get an opinion from an experienced Interventional Radiologist who performs a lot of UFE procedures. A pelvic MRI scan is very important for these patients as it is the best imaging tool to see exactly how many fibroids a woman has and their precise locations. Pelvic ultrasound significantly underestimates the number of fibroids in the uterus.
The more fibroids a woman truly has in her uterus, the more likely she will have some of these remaining in her uterus after surgery. These fibroids tend to be the smaller ones, but they will begin to grow immediately, and often cause recurrence of fibroid symptoms within five years of the original surgery. This is in stark contrast to UFE which typically treats every single fibroid in the uterus and the chance of fibroid symptom recurrence is dramatically lower.
At the Atlanta Fibroid Center, we have had numerous children born after UFE even multiple sets of twins. The births are typically full-term and vaginal, whereas women who conceive after myomectomy are going to be delivered by cesarean section.
One also has to keep in mind that with surgical myomectomy, there is actual cutting on the uterus, and this cutting decreases a woman’s future pregnancy. These surgical incisions to the uterus to remove fibroids are the same whether the procedure is done by traditional open myomectomy, laparoscopic myomectomy, or robotic myomectomy. In addition, every patient that undergoes any type of surgical myomectomy has to realize (and sign a paper attesting to this fact) that she may want a myomectomy, but may wake up after surgery with a hysterectomy.
Women suffering from symptomatic uterine fibroids deserve to know all of their options and not just the surgical ones. For more information on fibroids and treatment options including UFE, please go to ATLii.com or call us to make an appointment to see Dr. Lipman at 770-953-2600.