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Are There Other Treatment Options for Uterine Fibroids

The treatment options really depend on the age that the symptoms of the fibroid develop. A person who has fibroids and has no symptoms doesn’t have to be treated. These are benign tumors, and will not develop into malignant tumors. You don’t have to treat them if you are not having symptoms. A lot of times, patients who present earlier in their early age group fibroid either involve massive fibroids and they can actually feel them, or they are having problems with pregnancy. In the older groups, symptoms of bleeding and heavy menstrual periods are common. Fibroids tend to grow and push on other structures, and because of the location of the uterus, it can affect other structures in that area and cause other symptoms. The uterus is right next to the bladder, so patients may develop a frequency of urination. It’s also near the back, so they may develop back pain associated with menstruation. Sometimes patients will get constipation because it’s pushing on the colon. Hysterectomy means that you’re removing the entire uterus, so once that happens you are not able to become pregnant again. Another surgical option, without removing the entire uterus, is called Myomectomy. This means we remove those specific fibroids or the largest fibroids and leave the rest of the uterus intact. The other option we consider would be something called endometrial ablation. When the fibroids are in the inner lining of the uterus, the gynecologist can put a scope inside the uterus and then burn out the dead fibroid. As interventional radiologists, we perform fibroid embolization, where we try to kill the fibroids internally. Fibroids are very vascular, which means they need a lot of blood flow to live. If you can primarily attack the fibroids themselves, leaving the uterus intact, you can kill the fibroids and have a normal uterus. Fibroid embolization is performed by putting a small catheter inside the artery supplying the fibroids, then injecting tiny microscopic particles into the blood vessels supplying the fibroids. Over time, that will kill the fibroids. Learn more at

Learn more about vascular health, prevention, and care for Peripheral Arterial Disease.

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