Uterine Artery Embolisation
What is it?
This is a new treatment for fibroids.
A new procedure that blocks the blood supply to the fibroids.
This reduces rather than removes fibroids.
What types of fibroids does it treat?
There has not been enough research to determine which types of fibroids respond best to embolisation.
How is it done?
This procedure involves into an and directing it to the blood supply of the fibroids.
The radiologist (doctor) placing a fine tube (a small catheter) into the artery in the groin (right and left uterine arteries) and injects a dye to locate the arteries that are feeding the fibroids.
A special substance (little plugs) is then injected to block (embolise) the blood supply.
This is done under a local anaesthetic and you will be in hospital for a couple of days.
This causes the fibroids to shrink, although there may be pain for a short time afterwards requiring the use of narcotics.
What is the recovery period afterwards?
Recovery at home should take 1 to 2 weeks.
Will the fibroids come back?
There is little information about fibroid regrowth after embolisation.
Will I still be able to get pregnant?
Some women have become pregnant after embolisation, but it can also lead to ovarian failure. More research is needed.
What are the advantages of this procedure?
Uterine artery embolization may eliminate the need for surgical treatment of myomas.
Minimally invasive; no incisions or scars; quick recovery period.
You will still have your womb and may be able to have children.
It seems to offer many advantages over myolysis.
What are the possible complications?
§ risk of infection that requires a hysterectomy
§ risk of ovarian failure
§ radiation exposure
What are the other disadvantages?
May cause ovarian failure.
This is a very new procedure and long-term effects are still unkown.
As in myolysis, no samples are sent for biopsy, although the chance of malignancy in fibroids are low.