All You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

All You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

Uterine fibroids are one of the conditions that a significant number of women have to deal with. Until recently, the disease was quite challenging to treat without affecting fertility. Recently, technological advances in medicine have provided interventional radiology, which is used to treat uterine fibroids in the most minimally invasive and safest way possible. With uterine fibroid embolization in Houston, TX, you get a safe and effective non-surgical option. In this piece, we will cover everything you need to know about Uterine Fibroid Embolization to give you an idea if it will be your best course of action when dealing with uterine fibroids.

Uterine fibroids- what they are and how they affect women 

Uterine fibroids are one of the most common noncancerous growths and are located in the uterus. Mostly, they occur in women during their childbearing years. They are so common that research shows they occur in 20-40% of women aged over 35.

However, how do these uterine fibroids affect women? It would help to know that uterine fibroids are made out of smooth muscles and fibrous connective tissue. The worst part is that they can grow significantly more massive and cause problems to women affecting their quality of life. This condition is related to the hormone estrogen and tends to affect women with higher quantities than those with low levels.

Symptoms of uterine fibroids 

This condition affects women differently, which explains why the severity of symptoms varies from one woman to another. However, whether severe or not, the most common indicators of uterine fibroids are;

  •         Pelvic pain/pressure
  •         Back and leg pain 
  •         Unusual bleeding 
  •         Longer menses
  •         Uncomfortable/painful sexual intercourse 
  •         Blood clots
  •         Bladder pressure or getting the urge to urinate more frequently 
  •         Bowel pressure 
  •         Blood clots. 

Uterine fibroid treatment 

An interventional radiologist performs UFE. The specialist inserts a thin catheter into the artery at the groin or wrist. The incision is relatively small and is almost the size of a pencil tip. The radiologist directs the catheter to the fibroids’ blood supply, where small particles are released to float downstream and block the small vessels. The fibroid lacks nutrients, which makes it soften, bleed less, and shrinks in size. Undergoing uterine fibroid embolization enables you to experience a significant improvement, and sometimes the symptoms may go away entirely. 

Risks of the procedure

Where the insertion of a catheter is involved, certain risks are involved. Some of the dangers of the UFE include;

  •         Damage to the blood vessel, bruising, or bleeding at the puncture site. There is also a high probability of infection, but the doctor does everything possible to mitigate the risks involved.
  •         There is a chance for an embolic agent to lodge in the wrong place, which disrupts oxygen supply to normal tissues.
  •         Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to the X-ray contrast used. 

Uterine fibroid embolization has become the best minimally invasive procedure for dealing with fibroids. However, UFE should not be performed for women who do not show any symptoms from their fibroid tumors. Likewise, the treatment is not advisable when cancer is possible or when someone has a pelvic inflammation or infection. Ensure you consult with your specialist before trying out the UFE procedure.

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