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Embolization After Traditional Surgical Procedures

If you’ve tried other fibroid treatment methods that were unsuccessful, Uterine Fibroid Embolization can be a plausible option after other treatments have presented unsuccessful.

I had a myomectomy in 2008. I am again bleeding heavy. I know it’s the fibroids that have grown. Can I do Uterine Fibroid Embolization at this point.

Even after a myomectomy, Uterine Fibroid Embolization can still be a plausible option for fibroid treatment.  Many women who have tried myomectomy and witnessed  re-growth in their fibroids look to UFE to treat their existing fibroids.  Because the UFE procedure uses tiny  particles to successfully block off the blood supply that feed fibroids, the subsequent  chance of re-growth for these fibroids are unlikely.  Therefore, UFE patients are less likely to witness fibroid re-growth than their myomectomy counterparts.

In addition to a decreased chance of re-growth, UFE patients also experience the advantage of immediate symptom relief. Heavy bleeding, bloating, pain, pressure-all of these symptoms can immediately become lessened after the procedure.  On average, many post-operative UFE patients state that their symptoms were either eradicated or lessened following UFE.  Therefore, embolization would be an optimal choice of fibroid treatment for your situation.  Not to mention a quick recovery period of less than 7 days!

It is never too late to treat your fibroid issue. Let us help you in your journey to explore treatment options, give us a call at 866-362-6463.  By calling this number, you can request to have an in-office consultation with Dr. McLucas, or you can opt to engage in a FREE phone consultation in which he can give you a general assessment of your individual situation and offer you suggestions. Either way, we are here to help!

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Hormonal Changes After Fibroid Embolization

Want to avoid the hormonal swings associated with traditional fibroid surgeries? Look to UFE!

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids. The procedure does not include the ovaries in the process, which means that the ovaries are often not affected by the procedure.

There are very few accounts of women that experience hormonal changes as a result of  UFE, with the exception of the small percentage of women that experience early menopause as a result of the procedure. Most women will not experience hormonal changes or depression, both of which are common with hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) patients. Women that are approaching the age of menopause, however, may be more likely to start menopause after UFE.

Learn more about fibroids and Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling 866-362-6463 or by requesting a free phone consultation. Additionally, you can find us on Twitter @fibroiddoctor and on Facebook at facebook.com/fibroids.

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Fibroid Embolization vs. Hysterectomy

A recent article published by the AJOG looked at the results of women with fibroids who had either a hysterectomy or UAE.

A commentary in the health section of the Reuters website talked about a recent study released by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) which demonstrated comparable physical or mental quality of life rates reported when studying women who undergo either a hysterectomy or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), also known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Additionally, the study showed that more than 4 out of 5 women in both groups were very satisfied with the treatment they had received. This information proves as significant due to the fact that previous studies have suggested that hysterecomy may be optimal for women that want to fully and completely eradicate their fibroids; however, the results of this study suggest that embolization could be a worthwhile choice for many women, especially for those that do not want to bear a long recovery period and do want to keep their fertility options open.

The study released in AJOG followed about 150 women, most in their forties, who had uterine fibroids that hadn’t responded to medication. The women were divided up randomly – half got a hysterectomy, and the other half had UAE done.  After following this cohort of women for 5 years, the results yielded no significant difference in satisfaction of the procedure and both groups reported that their fibroids were either gone or improved.  Therefore, those women that treated their fibroids with UFE not only shared the same level of satisfaction with their procedure and the outcome, but they also had the advantage of a less invasive treatment with little risk of complication. The study further touted the effectiveness of UFE and its safe and effective approach to treatment for uterine fibroids, specifically when presented with traditional surgical options such as hysterectomy and myomectomy.

Dr. Jim Reekers, a radiologist at Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center and one of the study’s authors, told Reuters Health , “Hysterectomies often keep a patient in the hospital for up to five or six days, and they won’t be totally back on their feet for more than a month…After embolization, women can leave the hospital in a day and be back at work within a week”.  He also included that the procedure can be “much more friendly to the patient”.  Still, Dr. Linda Bradley, the vice chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic, shares that the type of treatment needed can often depend on factors such as the patient’s symptoms and the location of the fibroids.  This being said, she states that patients should be open about what they want and doctors have to be honest about the treatment options they provide for their patients.

SOURCE: http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(10)00079-7/abstract

 

Uterine Fibroid Embolization and Sex

Want to find out about the effects of UFE on your sexual desire? Read here to find out the inside scoop about this topic!

Will UFE affect my sexual response?

Most patients report either no change or improvement in their sexual desire and response after Uterine Artery Embolization. Women that experience pain during sex, which can sometimes be a result of the presence of fibroids, usually experience an improvement in this area.

Some women experience intense, pleasurable contractions during orgasm.  This occurrence is called internal orgasm (different from clitoral orgasm) and a few have noted a decrease in this response after the procedure. The exact reason for this is uncertain but may be related to an injury of nerves supplying the cervix. Concerns about effects of UFE on sexuality should be discussed with your Interventional Radiologist during the initial consultation.

Learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling 866-362-64633 or by requesting a free phone consultation. Additionally, you can find us on Twitter @fibroiddoctor and on Facebook at facebook.com/fibroids.

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Fibroids Post-Embolization

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.

Learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling (866) 479-1523 or by requesting a free phone consultation.

 

History of Uterine Artery Embolization

Find out about the history of Uterine Artery Embolization and how Dr. McLucas was instrumental in its initial use in the United States!

Are UAE and UFE the same thing? And how long has the procedure been around?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) are two names for the same procedure and can be used interchangeably. Since the actual procedure entails the blocking or “embolization” of the uterine artery, UAE is probably a more appropriate term.

Embolization of the uterine artery has been used as a treatment for severe uterine bleeding during surgery or childbirth for some time. However, this procedure was initially used in fibroid patients as a method of decreasing the blood loss that occurs during myomectomy, but it was later discovered that after the embolization, many patient’s symptoms went away and surgery was no longer needed.

After making this stark discovering, UAE was then used as a treatment specifically for fibroids in France in the early 1990’s and Dr. Bruce McLucas was the first person to pioneer the use of this procedure for fibroid treatment in the United States in 1995.

For more information on fibroids or UAE, please give us a call at 866-296-9244 or request a free phone consultation.

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Uterine Artery Embolization & Imaging at a Glance

Look inside to find a quick synopsis of the UAE procedure and the imaging used during the process.

Is an ultrasound used to find the uterine artery during the procedure? Have there been any cases where the PVA particles went to the wrong place?

An ultrasound is not used during fibroid embolization.  The ultrasound that you are referring to is done before the embolization procedure. The patient undergoes complete pelvic imaging, either ultrasound or MRI, to measure the size of the uterus and to look for any other conditions that might be affecting their health.

During the procedure, however, the first step in embolization requires a very small incision, about the size of a freckle, which is made in your upper thigh. This is done so that a tiny catheter can be inserted through this incision and into the femoral artery. Using x-ray guidance, a trained physician locates the feeder vessels which supply blood to each fibroid. Microscopic inert particles are injected into the vessels, blocking blood supply that nourishes the fibroid. Without a steady blood supply, the fibroids begin to dwindle and shrink. You can see the procedure performed live on our site at The Embolization Solution: See It Work.

Because physicians are able to use x-ray guidance to locate the exact vessels which supply the fibroids,  PVA particles are kept from going to the wrong place. Thus far we are unaware of particles escaping into the bloodstream and creating embolisms elsewhere.

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Uterine Artery Embolization & Imaging at a Glance

Is Uterine Artery Embolization an experimental procedure?

Learn whether UFE is an experimental procedure and how long it has been performed in the United States.

Uterine Artery Embolization, also known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization or UFE, is in no way an experimental procedure. Not only is the procedure an approved treatment of fibroids, but it has also been performed in the US since 1995. Additionally, the polyvinyl alcohol particles, or PVA particles, are FDA approved embolic agents; therefore, there is no aspect of this procedure that is in any sense “experimental”. Moreover, many insurance companies cover UFE on a routine basis. Had the procedure been an experimental one, this would not be possible.  Most of Dr. Bruce McLucas’ patients are covered by various insurance companies; therefore, they are able to worry less about finances.

Fibroids Treatment Collective (FTC) introduced embolization to America over a decade ago. We are responsible for thousands of successful treatments and actively train other physicians to perform this safe, non-surgical procedure. FTC was established by Dr.Bruce McLucas, a graduate of Yale Medical School and a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist. Dr. McLucas is one of the only gynecologists in America accredited in the skills necessary to perform embolization, allowing him to participate in every step of your treatment.

To learn more about fibroids and the embolization procedure, please feel free to contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at 866-362-6463 or request a free phone consultation.  We are always more than happy to provide you with useful resources and help you make positive choices for your health!

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Is Uterine Artery Embolization an experimental procedure?

Mentrual Cycles and Fibroid Embolization

Still want to keep your fertility options open and want to continue having your period? The UFE procedure strives to rid symptoms associated with fibroids, while allowing women to maintain their cycles.

Will I still have menstrual periods after I have the embolization procedure?

Generally speaking, approximately 95% of women will continue to have menstrual periods after Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Roughly 5% of women in one published study did enter menopause after UFE, but the reason for this is not clear. It may have been coincidental, but there is also a small possibility that some of the injected particles caused a reduction of blood flow to the ovaries. Additionally, if you are reaching the typical age range in which most women experience menopause, there is a possibility that you may enter menopause, but often times this is not caused by the procedure itself, but rather a natural phenomenon that is unavoidable.

At any rate, most women continue to have their periods and are often happy to find that they no longer experience the burdensome symptoms that they experienced prior to UFE.  After UFE periods are often much lighter, less painful, and quite manageable.  UFE patients are usually very satisfied and come out of the procedure with the advantage of having normal menstrual cycles, leaving their fertility options open.

To learn more about fibroids and the embolization procedure, please feel free to contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at 866-362-6463 or request a free phone consultation.  We would love to help you answer any additional questions that you might have or help you find out of UFE is an option you would like to explore!

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization and Your Uterus

Worried that UFE will harm your uterus? Worry no more! In this section we explain how UFE leaves your uterus virtually untouched.

What happens to the uterus after the procedure? Does embolization cause any injury to the uterus?

The uterus tolerates Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) very well. In most research studies conducted, analysis of the uteri showed no UFE-related injury to the normal uterine muscle or the lining of the uterine cavity. Only the fibroids were affected. Proving that injury to the normal uterus is extremely rare.

There are two main ideas to explain these findings. First, the arterial branches that go to normal uterine tissues are tiny, while the arteries that go to the fibroid are very large. Injected polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles are too big to enter vessels leading to the normal uterus, so they flow right past these vessels and go directly to where the blood flow and vessel diameter are greatest. The fibroids, which feed off of this blood flow, absorb the blood-borne PVA. Further embolizing the blood flow to the uterus and eventually shrinking the tissue.

Second, the uterus is able to “recruit” blood supply from adjacent organs, primarily the cervix, vagina, and pelvic floor. By using this “secondary source” as a means to receive blood supply, the uterus still maintains the blood necessary to remain healthy, further ensuring that no damage can be done.

To learn more about fibroids and the embolization procedure, please feel free to contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at 866-362-6463 or request a free phone consultation.  We are always more than happy to provide you with useful resources and help you make positive choices for your health!

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