A hysterectomy is not your only solution. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UEF) is an FDA-approved alternative has been around for over 20 years and unlike a hysterectomy.
IR procedures are nonsurgical, outpatient, same-day procedures that can often be performed in under an hour. They are also called percutaneous procedures or needle entry procedures. These recently developed techniques allow access to areas that would otherwise require a more invasive procedure, such as traditional surgery, which requires general anesthesia, a stay in the hospital, and a long recovery period.
Our minimally invasive image-guided procedures are cutting-edge technology without the need of a scalpel.
While it’s normal to experience mild discomfort during and post-treatment, most patients report a positive experience without any major pain.
All procedures can be done on-site at the medical clinic. No general anesthesia or hospital stay is required.
Interventional radiology procedures typically involve shorter recovery periods and faster return to daily activities than traditional open surgeries.
Interventional radiology has a high success rate in diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions using minimally invasive techniques.
Compared to traditional surgical procedures, interventional radiology has fewer side effects, such as reduced pain and scarring, shorter recovery times, and lower risks of complications.
Uterine fibroids (also called uterine leiomyomata) are benign tumors of the uterus made of smooth muscle tissue. They can range from small pea-sized lumps to larger grapefruit-sized growths that can cause problems for women trying to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term.
Symptomatic fibroids can cause pressure, pain, heavy bleeding, anemia, pelvic pain, frequent urination, pain during sex, backache or leg pain, and a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen or rectal pressure.
Risk factors for fibroids include being an African-American woman, having an early onset of menstruation (before 12 years old), having a family history of uterine fibroids, being between 20 and 40 years old, and being obese.
Fibroids can affect fertility if they block the uterus, make it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus, or grow on a stalk out of the uterine walls and affect fertility. Submucosal fibroids are often associated with heavy bleeding and can cause fertility problems.
Not all fibroids require treatment, but symptomatic fibroids that cause problems for women trying to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term may require treatment. Treatment options include medication, surgery, or uterine artery embolization.
It is estimated that up to 70% of American women older than 35 years old have uterine fibroids, although the exact number is difficult to determine because not all women with fibroids have symptoms.
Surgical options for fibroids include myomectomy (removal of the fibroid tumor through an incision in the uterus), hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus and cervix), and laparoscopic hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus and cervix through several small incisions in the abdomen with the use of a laparoscope).
Complications associated with a hysterectomy include bleeding, damage to the bowel and/or bladder, dangerously low blood pressure, infection, small bowel obstruction, damage to vital organs such as the bladder, uterus, and blood vessels, chronic bleeding from the vagina or bowels, infection in the surgical incision site(s), lymphedema of the legs, and bowel obstruction from a cut in the colon during surgery.
Other less invasive surgical methods for uterine fibroids include endometrial ablation and radiofrequency ablation. The leading non-surgical procedure for fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) also called uterine artery embolization (UAE).
UFE is a non-surgical treatment for fibroids without surgery. It involves blocking the blood supply to fibroids using tiny particles injected into the uterine artery, causing the fibroid tissue to die and be absorbed by the body. It is a minimally invasive, same-day procedure.
A tiny catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and advanced through the iliac arteries into the uterine artery. Small particles made of tiny coils, special beads, or solid foam material are then injected into the uterine artery, blocking off blood flow to the fibroids. The particles cause the fibroids to shrink and be reabsorbed by the body over time. The procedure takes 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on the number and size of fibroids.
The diagnosis of fibroids involves a medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. MRI uses radio waves and strong magnets to produce detailed three-dimensional images on a computer screen. A pelvic MRI with gadolinium injection can help confirm uterine fibroids because the dye highlights abnormal tissue in the uterus.
Imaging & Interventional Specialists are experts in interventional radiology and minimally invasive procedures to treat fibroids. Their board-certified physicians use state-of-the-art equipment to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient. They also offer in-house testing to determine the cause of fibroids and provide the best possible outcomes for their patients.