Within the United States alone, about 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50 have uterine fibroids. Of these women, 15 million are likely to have fibroid-related symptoms and health concerns, many needing treatment. Thankfully, a wide range of options exist—including minimally invasive approaches, like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
Unlike surgery, like hysterectomy or myomectomy, the UFE procedure requires nothing more than a small nick in the wrist of groin area. A doctor called an interventional radiologist inserts a slim tube called a catheter and guides it to the uterine arteries. Tiny particles called embolic are then delivered through the catheter to block the blood flowing to the fibroids. Once deprived of blood, fibroids begin to shrink, relieving symptoms, like heavy periods, pelvic pain, and urinary frequency.
A recent study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine evaluated the clinical and radiological outcomes after UFE in 62 premenopausal women with symptomatic fibroids. All women underwent imaging of their fibroids (MRI or transvaginal ultrasound) before the procedure and then again at one-year follow up.
At follow-up, average fibroid diameter size was significantly reduced (42.6% ± 21.6%). There were also excellent improvements in both symptoms and quality of life, despite differences in fibroid size and number. No major complications were reported.
The researchers concluded, “The present study confirms the safety and efficacy of [UFE] in the treatment of symptomatic fibroids in pre-menopausal women with no desire to conceive.”