Uterine Fibroids is a type of benign tumor grows on the body of the uterus. In some cases, these fibroids largely increase the size of the uterus. There could be multiple fibroids in the uterus. The symptoms are not apparent in everyone but in most cases, pain and bleeding problems occur according to the size and position of these fibroids. Uterine fibroid is the most common tumor of the uterus. However, in most cases, the symptoms of the tumor are not evident.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroid
Only 20-30% of women require treatment and the symptoms include:
- Prolonged and abnormal bleeding during menstruation which often leads to the possibility of Anaemia
- Pain in the pelvis. Pain in the back and the legs, in most cases
- Pain during physical intercourse
- Frequent urination due to pressure in the bladder
- Constipation and abnormal swelling due to pressure in the bowel
- Abnormal swelling of the abdomen
Image Guided Procedure
It is through an image guided procedure that interventional radiologists can detect the disease and carry out the treatment without surgery. Ultrasound is a primary procedure through which fibroid or other diseases cannot be determined. This is precisely the reason why an MRI is carried out before embolization, in order to get some additional information. According to ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), fibroid embolization has Level 1 evidence and patients above 30 years of age should consider this treatment. Before a fibroid surgery, the patient should be aware of all kinds of alternative procedures and if possible, a second opinion from an interventional radiologist should be taken. It’s is wise to get this treatment carried out by a team of gynecologist.
Preliminary treatment through surgery
If the primary treatment turns out to be a failure, the fibroids are usually removed through surgical procedures like hysterectomy or myomectomy.
This fibroid can be treated without surgery through embolization
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a highly advanced minimally invasive surgery. Through UFE, the blood vessels in the ovary that contribute to the growth of these fibroids are blocked as a result of which the fibroids get constricted. Over four lakh women worldwide have been successfully treated through this method. After five years of observation (according to EMMY, REST), it has been observed that UFE is a safe procedure and a highly effective method with a success rate of 90%. Compared to myomectomy, UFE ensures a better mental and physical wellbeing of the patient.
Advantages of Embolization:
- Safe: There have been over a million of instances
- Easy: The process require only one hour
- The body does not have to undergo any cuts or stitches
- The patient does not have to unconscious. Moreover, it is less complicated
- The patient can return to work within a few days of this process
- The formation of fibroids does not take place for the second time
- The reproductive process stays intact
- Ovaries are not required to be removed
Dr. Shuvro Roy Chowdhury
Consultant- Interventional radiologist
Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Science