Uterine Fibroid Embolisation Treatment
Fibroids are a non-cancerous growth in the uterus or womb. It is common in fertile women and will often shrink after menopause occurs. In most cases, fibroids begin to grow without any symptoms and are only found during an examination or medical imaging.
Fibroids can cause serious injury, and the symptoms will vary depending on their size and location in the uterus. Symptoms can include bleeding, frequency urination, heightened period paid, pelvic pain and is even linked to infertility.
What is UFE/UAE?
Uterine fibroid embolisation (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolisation (UAE), is a minimally invasive treatment of uterine fibroids. This procedure is performed by a doctor in an angiography suite of a hospital. The room itself resembles an operating theatre and is designed specifically for this procedure. An X-ray machine is used to display the womb and guide the procedure.
For many patients, it is common to receive a sedative injection to help relax them and prevent any anxiety. The patient will then be given an injection of liquid dye known as contrast medium. This will allow the doctors to differentiate the arteries in the X-ray imaging.
The fibroid embolisation treatment will begin with a needle and wire being placed in the uterine artery. The most common place this needle is inserted is in the right groin. However, the left groin or even arm may be used as well.
The area of the body the needle will be inserted will be given local anaesthetic to ensure no pain is felt. Once the wire is inserted into the artery, a plastic tube — catheter — is used to supply blood to the uterine arteries and the fibroids.
In most procedures, this is done to the left and right uterine arteries. However, it is not uncommon for blood supply to be sent to the ovarian arteries and surrounding arteries as well.
As blood supply is sent through the arteries, the fibroids will be injected with tiny particles of plastic — polyvinyl alcohol or cis acryl gelatin — to prevent them from receiving blood. Once the blood supply has been administered, the tube is removed, and a small stitch is used to stop the bleeding.
After the stitching, the procedure is complete, and you will be taken back to the ward for recovery. For many patients, it is common to feel anxious and stressed about this minimally invasive procedure. However, uterine fibroid embolisation treatment in Australia is extremely safe.
Post-Uterine Fibroid Treatment
After the fibroid embolisation treatment, patients will often experience cramps, flu-like symptoms, lack of energy and irregular nausea. These symptoms are normal side effects of the procedure as your body naturally reacts to the fibroid tissue dying.
Fibroid Embolisation Treatment
There are a number of treatment options for uterine fibroids in Australia, ranging from non-invasive fibroid treatment to surgical treatments.
Non-Invasive Fibroid Treatment
- Diagnosis and watchful waiting
- Hormone treatment
- Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery
Minimally Invasive Treatment Options
- Endometrial ablation
- Uterine fibroid embolisation
- Abdominal hysterectomy
- Abdominal myomectomy
- Hysteroscopic myomectomy
- Laparoscope-assisted vaginal hysterectomy
- Laparoscopic myomectomy
- Robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy
- Robotic-assisted myomectomy
- Vaginal hysterectomy