FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

Should I be treated?

Recent studies show that up to 70% of women have fibroids in their uterus. Most of these women won’t know that they have fibroids because they are small enough that they won’t cause symptoms. However, millions of women a year see a specialist due to prolonged bleeding at menses, pelvic pain and pressure, or infertility.

Women without symptoms do not require treatment. Fibroids are not cancerous and do not need to be removed. However, women with persistent symptoms should be evaluated for treatment options. In years past, women needed to have their uterus removed through a large abdominal incision to treat their fibroids. But with todays’ newest technology, there are a greater number of treatment options.

With outpatient uterine fibroid embolization (UFE, UAE) many women are opting to have their fibroids treated instead of living with the symptoms.

Statistic has showed that in United State out Of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year; most could be avoided by having a uterus preserving fibroid treatment. Unfortunately, many doctors continue the trend of offering hysterectomy despite the growth of new, minimally invasive fibroid treatment options.

We encourage women to schedule an initial consultation or a confidential second opinion with us at The VIP clinic. Direct patient self-referrals are accepted. For women who have already been evaluated by their OB/GYN, Dr. Samman is happy to offer a confidential second opinion or work closely with each patient’s Gynecologist.

What is a uterine fibroid?

A fibroid is a non-cancerous (benign) growth in or on the walls of the uterus. They can range in size from less than an inch to more than 12 inches in diameter.

Who is most at risk for developing uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors within the female reproductive system with the majority diagnosed in women between the ages of 35-54. Several studies suggest that African American women are at greater risk and have a threefold greater incidence and earlier onset.

What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

UFE is a treatment for uterine fibroids where blood flow to the fibroids is blocked, causing the fibroids to shrink and alleviating symptoms.

How is UFE performed?

UFE is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR), a doctor who uses X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery.
During the UFE procedure, the patient receives local anesthesia and remains awake. The IR inserts a catheter (a thin, hollow tube) into the patient’s upper thigh or wrist to access her arteries and uses X-ray imaging to guide the catheter to the patient’s uterine artery.
Embosphere® Microspheres, the most clinically proven and clinically studied microsphere, are injected into the catheter and into the fibroid-feeding vessels. The tiny microspheres block the blood flow to the fibroids, causing the fibroids to shrink and alleviating symptoms. The process is repeated in the patient’s other uterine artery to address all fibroids in the uterus.

Does UFE work and is it safe?

UFE is a safe and proven fibroid treatment, having been performed on hundreds of thousands of women over the past 20 years.
UFE helps alleviate symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and bulk symptoms including pelvic pain and pressure, urinary frequency and constipation. Ninety percent of women show significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life after UFE.

What are the benefits of UFE?

• Minimally invasive
• Often performed as outpatient surgery
• Much shorter recovery time compared to surgery – less than two weeks versus 8 weeks
• Performed through small incision
• Preserves uterus
• Does not require the use of hormone therapy
• Covered by most insurance

What happens to the fibroids after embolization?

After UFE, the fibroids shrink, scar and retract into the wall of the uterus. Some women may temporarily experience vaginal discharge, including expelled fibroid tissue.

What happens to the particles that are used to block the blood flow?

During UFE, tiny round particles called Embosphere®
Microspheres are delivered through the catheter to the blood vessels that lead
to the fibroids. The tiny microspheres are biocompatible and remain in the body for complete occlusion of the fibroid-feeding vessels.
The particles do not move from their original delivery location.

What happens to the particles that are used to block the blood flow?

During UFE, tiny round particles called Embosphere® Microspheres are delivered through the catheter to the blood vessels that lead to the fibroids. The tiny microspheres are biocompatible and remain in the body for complete occlusion of the fibroid-feeding vessels.
The particles do not move from their original delivery location.

Is UFE safe if I want to have children?

Women should not have this procedure if they are pregnant or want to become pregnant. The effects of UFE on the ability to become pregnant and carry a fetus to term, and on the development of the fetus, have not been determined.
While women can become pregnant after UFE and have successful pregnancies, there are no scientific study results establishing the safety of UFE on fertility and pregnancy. As with any medical intervention, patients should discuss the most current clinical data with their doctor before deciding on the fibroid treatment option that is best for them.

What are the most common risks associated with UFE?

UFE is a safe procedure for treating symptomatic fibroids with minimal risk. Infrequent complications have been reported following UFE. The most reported risk factors and complications associated with UFE are transient amenorrhea (temporary absence of menstrual period), common short-term allergic reaction/rash, vaginal discharge/infection, non-targeted embolization, possible fibroid passage, and post-embolization syndrome, which can include a low-grade fever, pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

What is the success rate of the procedure?

Ninety percent of women show significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life after UFE.

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