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Uterine Artery Embolisation

TREATMENTS

What is uterine artery embolisation ?

Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours of uterus of women in their childbearing age. These fibroids can be single or multiple and can grow in size, with time.

While fibroids may be asymptomatic, their size and location can lead to problems like:

  • Excessive bleeding and prolonged periods
  • Lower abdominal distension / bloating sensation
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Pain during menstruation
  • Infertility
  • Pain in the back and legs

Diagnosis:

  • Ultrasound examination (TAS and TVS)
  • MRI

Uterine Fibroid Treatment Methods

Uterine Fibroid treatment modalities can be grouped as medical, surgical and minimally invasive non-surgical procedures:

Medical Treatment

  • Birth control pills
  • GnRH analogues (hormones)
  • These induce artificial menopause andhave high rate of recurrence

Surgical Treatment

  • Myomectomy (where only the fibroid is removed).
  • Hysterectomy (the entire uterus is removed).
  • These usually have lengthy healing process and recovery time besides hospitalization period.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (Non-surgical interventional radiological Treatment)

  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), also called as Uterine Artery Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure
  • Under local anaesthesia an Interventional Radiologist inserts a thin catheter and tiny round particles called PVA (Poly Vinyl Alcohol) are injected into the branch of the uterine artery( that supplies blood to the fibroid) for embolization thus cutting off the blood supply and causing the fibroids to shrink.
  • Once the fibroids have shrunk, they do not grow back.

Advantages of Uterine Fibroid Embolization

  • Minimally invasive
  • Fast recovery – 1 or 2 days hospital stay and women return to normal within days
  • Relief from heavy bleeding, pressure, and other symptoms
  • Uterine sparing – Fibroid embolization keeps the uterus intact preserving hormonal function, and fertility in women of childbearing age
  • Safe and non-toxic