Uterine fibroids are common non-cancerous growths that develop within the uterus. Twenty to forty percent of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids of a significant size. While most fibroids cause symptoms in only 10 to 20 percent of women, the symptoms can often significantly affect a person’s quality of life and sometimes result in hospitalization. These various symptoms include heavy and prolonged bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure, pain during intercourse, bladder pressure resulting in frequent urge to urinate, constipation, and an abnormally enlarged abdomen.
Treatment of symptomatic fibroids has often been accomplished through surgery by hysterectomy. For women who suffer from symptomatic uterine fibroids, there is an alternative minimally invasive procedure known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. This procedure can often relieve symptoms and provide a faster recovery time with lower risk of complications compared to hysterectomy. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, a physician who is trained to perform this and other types of minimally invasive procedures by using image guidance.
“This is a minimally invasive procedure, an alternative to a hysterectomy. It is a very effective treatment for symptomatic fibroids and offers a very low complication risk. This procedure also allows women to maintain their fertility,” said St. Anthony Interventional Radiologist, Scott Prater, M.D. This procedure does not require general anesthesia, as the patient is conscious but sedated. On average 85 to 90 percent of women who have had the procedure have experienced significant or total relief. The recurrence of treated fibroids is very rare.
To learn more about this procedure or to make an appointment with a St. Anthony physician, please call 405-272-7697.