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An Easier Way to Treat Uterine Fibroids

By: David Smoger, MD

Fibroids...a term that causes many women to shudder
.

Approximately 20 to 40 percent of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids.  These non-cancerous (benign) growths develop in the muscular walls of the uterus. Yet, fibroids do not affect all women in the same ways; less than 20 percent will ever experience symptoms.

T
he small percentage who suffer from symptoms such as:

  • heavy and prolonged menstrual periods or unusual monthly bleeding, which can lead to anemia
  • pelvic pain and pressure pain in their back and legs
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • frequent feelings of constipation or urinary frequency

For those women, there are effective treatments. The treatments partner two medical specialties—gynecology and interventional radiology—providing a continuum of care for women with fibroids. An interventional radiologist is a physician who can perform specific embolizations such as what may be needed for fibroids and other minimally invasive procedures that used to involve major surgery.

As a first step, women often undergo an ultrasound at their gynecologist’s office to determine the presence of fibroids. Then magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which actually improves the diagnosis, is often recommended. MRI is a painless process and it enables the interventional radiologist, a specially trained physician in nonsurgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) to determine which patients are the best candidates to receive UFE to eliminate their fibroid tumors.

Performed by the interventional radiologist while the patient is conscious, but sedated and feeling no pain- there is no need for general anesthesia. The physician will insert a small catheter into an artery and guide it into the uterine arteries using live x-rays. Tiny particles are released into the artery, which block blood flow to the fibroid tumor and cause it to shrink and die.


Traditionally, the patient will stay overnight in the hospital and be able to return to normal activities within a week to 10 days.

To learn more about uterine fibroids and to determine whether or not you may be suffering from them, visit the Main Line Health website.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 2/13/2012 1:14:52 PM

An Easier Way to Treat Uterine Fibroids

By: David Smoger, MD

Fibroids...a term that causes many women to shudder
.

Approximately 20 to 40 percent of women age 35 and older have uterine fibroids.  These non-cancerous (benign) growths develop in the muscular walls of the uterus. Yet, fibroids do not affect all women in the same ways; less than 20 percent will ever experience symptoms.

T
he small percentage who suffer from symptoms such as:

  • heavy and prolonged menstrual periods or unusual monthly bleeding, which can lead to anemia
  • pelvic pain and pressure pain in their back and legs
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • frequent feelings of constipation or urinary frequency

For those women, there are effective treatments. The treatments partner two medical specialties—gynecology and interventional radiology—providing a continuum of care for women with fibroids. An interventional radiologist is a physician who can perform specific embolizations such as what may be needed for fibroids and other minimally invasive procedures that used to involve major surgery.

As a first step, women often undergo an ultrasound at their gynecologist’s office to determine the presence of fibroids. Then magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which actually improves the diagnosis, is often recommended. MRI is a painless process and it enables the interventional radiologist, a specially trained physician in nonsurgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) to determine which patients are the best candidates to receive UFE to eliminate their fibroid tumors.

Performed by the interventional radiologist while the patient is conscious, but sedated and feeling no pain- there is no need for general anesthesia. The physician will insert a small catheter into an artery and guide it into the uterine arteries using live x-rays. Tiny particles are released into the artery, which block blood flow to the fibroid tumor and cause it to shrink and die.


Traditionally, the patient will stay overnight in the hospital and be able to return to normal activities within a week to 10 days.

To learn more about uterine fibroids and to determine whether or not you may be suffering from them, visit the Main Line Health website.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 2/13/2012 1:14:52 PM
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