- Created: June 3, 2010
- by: admin
Ever wondered what happens to your fibroids after the UFE procedure? Read on to find out what happens to these myomas and which types may put you at greater risk for post-complications.
What happens to fibroids when they are embolized? Do they merely shrink, or do they “fall off” in some way?
After losing their blood supply, fibroids lose their fluid content and they are removed by the body. In time they undergo a process of fibrosis, and lose their ability to grow again. The overall effect is that the fibroid shrinks but does not become detached and “fall off”. However, in some cases, when treating pedunculated fibroids ( fibroids that are stalked from the uterus) there is a possibility that they can eventually “fall off” into the pelvis and cause some complications. Embolizing a pedunculated fibroid may disrupt the stalk, thereby releasing the fibroid into either the subserosal or submucosal cavity.
Disrupting the stalk of a pedunculated subserosal fibroid can result in the fibroid’s release. This development can potentially cause chemical peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane that lines the abdomen), leading to prolonged pain after embolization. This risk of stalk disruption has led some interventional radiologiests (IRs) to evaluate the width of the fibroid’s attachment to the uterus before considering a patient as a UFE candidate. Recommendations have varied, but a stalk width greater than one-third to one-half the diameter of the fibroid is considered acceptable to most IRs. These recommendations are based on the idea that safety increases directly with the width of the stalk. At the present time, however, no studies have been performed to back these criteria.
When submucosal pedunculated fibroids lose their attachment to the uterus, they are at increased risk for expulsion from the uterus. Although expulsion is usually not associated with clinically significant complications, uterine obstruction can occur if the fibroid does not completely pass through the cervix. In this case, other procedures may be required to remove retained tissue, which may otherwise become secondarily infected leading to other secondary complications of the uterus.