Fortunately, doctors known as lnterventional Radiologists (IR) have been treating uterine fibroids without surgery for decades with a procedure known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Unlike surgery, UFE requires nothing more than a small nick in the wrist or groin area. An IR inserts a slim tube (called a catheter) and guides it to the artery that supplies the fibroids. Tiny particles are delivered through the catheter, blocking the blood flow to the fibroids. The fibroids begin to shrink, relieving the symptoms of pain, heavy periods, urinary frequency, and pelvic pressure in over 90% of cases.
Dr. Neal Khurana, a board-certified interventional radiologist and fibroid expert says “UFE is like pulling the weeds but keeping the garden -the uterus and ovaries stay put which is so important, not only medically speaking but for the patient as well.”
Every 10 minutes, 12 hysterectomies are performed in the United States and up to 9 of them did not meet the guidelines set for hysterectomy. Up to 60 percent of hysterectomies are performed for uterine fibroids and the patient is not always aware of less invasive procedures like UFE. If you are told you are a candidate for myomectomy or hysterectomy, you are likely a candidate for UFE.
The procedure is done as an outpatient in the office and takes about an hour with light sedation. “The recent advancements of this procedure include smaller catheters where we can work through your wrist and have you home the same day. It is truly incredible to be this minimally invasive and help women find relief without surgery and more importantly keep their reproductive organs intact” says Dr. Khurana.
Whether you are a candidate for UFE depends on several factors including age, symptoms, and fibroid type, size and number. Dr. Khurana states that “Every woman suffering from fibroids has a story. I want to hear that story from the start and be a part of the solution. This means a clinic consultation, reviewing imaging, and helping each woman make an informed choice about her health.”
To see if Uterine Fibroid Embolization is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Neal Khurana at Vascular lnterventional Specialists of Siouxland at (605) 217-5617.