When Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization the Right Choice?

Mar 21, 2024
When Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization the Right Choice?
Uterine fibroids can be miserable to live with, or they can cause almost no symptoms at all. Depending on your unique situation, you might want to ask your doctor about embolization.

Most women experience growth in one or more layers of their uterine lining. These fibroids, more properly known as myelomas, are benign but can cause unpleasant symptoms. If you’re struggling with uterine fibroids, you do have multiple treatment options — one of which is safe, easy embolization.

At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed provides uterine fibroid embolization as an alternative to hysterectomy for patients who have severe symptoms due to their fibroids.

Fibroid basics

It’s estimated that 80% of women will have uterine fibroids by age 50. One out of every three or four women have symptoms so intense they consider treatment. However, the average woman has symptoms for three years or more before seeking fibroid treatment, often because information about fibroids isn’t always easy to access. Additionally, information available may be outdated and claim that a hysterectomy is the standard “cure.”

Since most women don’t want to undergo a hysterectomy, this can make fibroids seem like something they may just want to “deal with.” However, fibroid symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. 

Fibroids often make periods heavier, meaning increased blood loss; you’ll need an iron supplement to avoid fatigue, lethargy, and bouts of dizziness. Cramping and pain during periods can be debilitating.

Uterine fibroids can cause a whole host of issues if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Depending on the location of your fibroids, you could have trouble conceiving, and the presence of fibroids during pregnancy can make you six times more likely to require a C-section due to complications during labor.

Fibroid treatment

In years past, a hysterectomy was considered the best way to resolve fibroid issues for good. Otherwise, many women simply suffered through their symptoms. Today, technology allows your doctor to “starve” your fibroids, making them shrink and thereby reduce symptoms.

Fibroids, like most growths inside the human body, are vascularized — they’re fed blood by a rogue artery. Fibroid embolization closes off arteries that feed your fibroids, causing them to shrink and wither. Your body typically disposes of your shrunken fibroids as waste matter during your period.

Dr. Ahmed uses a minimally invasive embolization technique to treat your uterine fibroid arteries. He injects tiny beads into the arteries to close them off, effectively stopping the blood supply to your fibroids. Recovery takes a week or two, but most of our patients see dramatic improvement in symptoms like heavy cramping and bleeding by their next period cycle. 

To learn more about embolization, schedule a consultation with the team at Apex Endovascular by calling 970-508-8439 or by booking an appointment online.