There Are Alternatives to a Hysterectomy with UFE
- Posted on: Nov 22 2018
When it comes to medical solutions, most patients have been led to believe certain procedures are their only option. In today’s digital world, tons of information has been made available for the general public to sift through on their own. It’s been enlightening and empowering to those that have never truly experienced choice care before. At the same time, it’s still difficult for many to trust in non-traditional methods. Even when wait times are extensive and personalized care is lacking, it’s easier for patients to lean on provider referrals instead of their own understanding. For women, the alternatives to a hysterectomy can seem risky when it’s not a primary recommendation.
Educating patients on treatment options, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolisation (UFE), is one of the main reasons Dr. Rami decided to pursue his own Vein and Vascular practice in Northwest Phoenix. Far too many patients aren’t made aware of the benefits of vascular embolisation. We want to do our best to let women know there are valuable alternatives to a hysterectomy and other surgical procedures. By expanding on the differences between a hysterectomy and UFE, we hope to encourage women in Phoenix to make decisions that are best for them and seek the quality of care they deserve.
Treating Fibroids Can Vary From Patient to Patient
More than 99 percent of the time, uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous). When it comes to the female reproductive system, uterine fibroids are the most common tumor found. They can grow from the size of a pea up to the size of a small grapefruit.
Treatments vary depending on factors that include both the current state of the fibroids, as well as personal factors such as your age, previous treatments you may have had, and whether or not you desire to have children in the future. In addition to these personal factors, current conditions and a patient’s lifestyle can make it difficult to view surgery as a viable option.
What is a Hysterectomy?
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with uterine fibroids, then you’re more than likely mulling over some of the treatment options right now. When a Myomectomy is either not possible, not effective, or has caused further complications, a hysterectomy is commonly recommended. If you’re not already aware, a hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of the uterus.
In most cases, you’ve probably already discussed this method of uterine fibroids treatment with your doctor. Many women choose a Hysterectomy over alternative options because the removal of the uterus (or part of it) is believed to eliminate the problem altogether. At the same time, it’s important that women understand that major surgeries come with certain risks. Other issues can arise due to the removal of an organ. If you find that undergoing a Hysterectomy is calling for a greater commitment than you are willing to make, you may want to consider an alternative option that’s less invasive and doesn’t take as much of a tole on your body.
What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Unlike major surgeries, uterine fibroid embolization is performed by injecting embolic agents into target uterine arteries to embolize or deliberately block the blood vessels leading to the fibroid or fibroids. These embolic agents are delivered via a catheter that is inserted into the femoral artery through a tiny incision in your groin or through your radial artery in your wrist. Fibroids that are blocked from the nutrients in your blood supply will soften, shrink in size, and bleed significantly less.
In other words, we shrink the tumors in your uterus by using a needle to inject a solution that does the work for you. We don’t have to cut you open to remove anything. Since UFE is a minimally invasive procedure, patients don’t have to experience extensive recovery times and follow ups. Aside from eliminating scarring, shrinking the fibroids allows patients to return to normal activities shortly after embolization. Coupled with satisfactory results, UFE is becoming increasingly popular amongst women with cancer-less fibroids. It’s becoming one of the fastest growing alternatives to a hysterectomy in Phoenix, Arizona.
Is UFE a Viable Alternative to a Hysterectomy?
Now that you’ve been given the basics of how these two fibroid treatment options work, let’s outline the main differences between a Hysterectomy and Uterine Fibroid Embolization:
The Impact on Pregnancy
A Hysterectomy eliminates the chance of becoming pregnant in the future as all or part of your uterus is completely removed. Studies have shown that UFE treatment can effectively treat uterine fibroids without impairing your ability to conceive and get pregnant.
The Risks of Each Fibroid Procedure
- The complication rate is higher with a Hysterectomy, while UFE achieves a lower complication rate along with reductions in pain and blood loss.
- The chance of recurrent uterine fibroids is eliminated with a Hysterectomy, while the recurrence of fibroids treated with UFE is very rare. Nearly 9 out of 10 women that choose UFE experience a significant improvement of, or complete freedom from, their fibroid symptoms.
Comparing Recovery Times
Recovering from a Hysterectomy takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks following hospitalization and requires lots of rest to heal properly. Recovering from Uterine Fibroid Embolization can begin at home as soon as the first day of treatment, and usually permits only light activity for the first few days.
Which Fibroids Treatment Option is Best For You?
Either treatment you decide upon will ultimately offer you relief from your uterine fibroid symptoms, however, choosing Uterine Fibroid Embolization means you can still continue to receive the emotional and physical benefits your uterus provides to your body. If you feel UFE is the right choice for you, or you just want to learn more, simply enter your email address in the form below. One of our dedicated team members would love to answer your questions and help guide you towards a solution that maximizes your well-being.
Don’t be held hostage by the symptoms of uterine fibroids. Understanding the alternatives to a hysterectomy can give you peace of mind when you finally make your decision. We’d love to provide you with the quality care you deserve. Take control of your life and your future as a woman with Desert Vein and Vascular Institute.