Embolisation for uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including pelvic pain and bleeding. Uterine fibroid embolisation is a minimally invasive procedure which aims to relieve the symptoms by preventing blood flow to the fibroids.
How does the procedure work?
The aim of the procedure is to stop blood flowing into the vessels which supply the fibroids whilst preserving blood flow to the surrounding area.
The interventional radiologist will usually insert a 2-3 mm catheter (tube) into a blood vessel in your groin and will use image guidance to guide the catheter to each uterine artery (right and left). They will then inject microparticles (particles smaller than a grain of sand), into the uterine arteries to stop the blood flowing to the fibroids.
Why perform it?
Uterine fibroid embolisation is performed to reduce the symptoms caused by fibroids whilst avoiding surgical methods.
Patient selection should always be performed by a gynaecologist, so if you are interested in seeing if you would be suitable for this procedure, you are advised to discuss this with your gynaecologist.
What are the risks?
Minor risks include bruising in the groin. More significant risks include the possibility that the glue or coils may move to other areas of the body and block other artery branches.
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2. Morishita H, Yamagami T, Matsumoto T, Asai S, Masui K, Sato H, Majima A, Sato O. Transcatheter arterial embolization with N-butyl cyanoacrylate for acute life-threatening gastroduodenal bleeding uncontrolled by endoscopic hemostasis. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013 Mar; 24(3):432-8.