Fibroids are muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are typically diagnosed through a routine gynecological exam along with an advanced imaging test.
Fibroids are one of the most common health conditions for women. For many patients, uterine fibroids can be controlled with common medications or don't require treatment. However, for women who suffer pain and difficulty due to fibroids, interventional radiologists at Good Shepherd Hospital offer nonsurgical options. It is important to talk to your doctor about options for uterine fibroid treatments.
Because fibroids can range in size, they may or may not cause symptoms. In more serious cases, women may experience
- pain and heavy menstrual bleeding
- pressure on the bladder, causing frequent urination
- feeling of fullness in the lower stomach area
- lower back pain
- an enlarged abdomen
- complications in pregnancy
Minimally invasive procedure: Uterine fibroid embolization
Embolization is performed under local anesthesia to block pain. Guided by imaging, the interventional radiologist guides the catheter into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroid tumor. Small particles are released into the arteries to block the blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and die.
Uterine fibroid embolization can help women with symptoms avoid a hysterectomy, and complications are rare. However, there are risks with any procedure. It is important for patients to understand their options and discuss them with a doctor.
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