UTERINE FIBROIDS/PELVIC CONGESTION
Uterine Fibroids/Pelvic Congestion
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization
- Ovarian Vein Embolization
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on or within the lining of the uterus. They can range in size from as small as a grape to as large as a cantaloupe. Approximately 20-40% of women over age 35 have fibroids, and African-American women are at a much higher risk for developing them.
Fibroids can result in pelvic pain or discomfort, urinary incontinence, frequent urination and heavy menstrual bleeding. The location and size of uterine fibroids can affect the severity of these symptoms and impact your quality of life. Fibroids are also hormonally sensitive, so the symptoms can be cyclical, just like with menstruation.
UFE is a safe, proven and minimally-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids. A specially trained interventional radiologist uses imaging guidance to thread a small catheter through your body to the site of the blood vessel feeding the fibroids. The vessel is then blocked, causing the fibroids to shrink and reduce the symptoms they are causing. The procedure is performed in less than an hour, requires only a small nick in the skin, and patients can return home within 24 hours.
Women who undergo UFE have demonstrated a high level of satisfaction and a significant improvement to their quality of life, even over the long term.1,2 In a recent study of four randomized clinical trials comparing UFE to surgical interventions, UFE was associated with less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and a faster return to work.3
Ovarian vein embolization (OVE)
Pelvic congestion is a painful condition caused by enlarged or varicose veins in the pelvis. Ovarian vein embolization is performed by an interventional radiologist using image guidance and a catheter to seal off the faulty veins to prevent them from becoming enlarged and cause pain. Like UFE, ovarian vein embolization is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that is an effective alternative to open surgery.
- Smith WJ, Upton E, Shuster EJ, Klein AJ, Schwartz ML. Patient satisfaction and disease specific quality of life after uterine artery embolization. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;190(6):1697–1703.
- Scheurig-Muenkler C, Koesters C, Powerski MJ, Grieser C, Froeling V, Kroencke TJ. Clinical long-term outcome after uterine artery embolization: sustained symptom control and improvement of quality of life. J VascIntervRadiol. 2013;24(6):765–771.
- Laughlin SK, Schroeder JC, Baird DD. New directions in the epidemiology of uterine fibroids. SeminReprod Med. 2010;28(3):204–217.