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Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine artery embolization

Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths in the uterus. In uterine artery embolization (uterine fibroid embolization) a doctor uses a slender, flexible tube (catheter) to inject small particles (embolic agents) into the uterine arteries, which supply blood to the fibroids and uterus. The goal is to block the fibroid blood vessels, starving the fibroids and causing them to shrink and die.

UFE Procedure: a small tube called a catheter is guided through the blood vessels to reach the fibroids. Micro-sized beads are injected through the catheter into the fibroid, blocking the fibroid's blood supply, causing it to shrink.

Who will be benefited with uterine artery embolization?

You might choose uterine artery embolization if you're premenopausal and:

You have pain, pressure symptoms or heavy bleeding from uterine fibroids

You want to avoid surgery, or surgery is too risky for you

If the fibroids are not very large or sub serosal

You want to keep your uterus

If future pregnancy isn't your chief concern

What are the risks associated with Uterine artery embolization?

Infection. A degenerating fibroid can provide a site for bacterial growth and lead to infection of the uterus (endomyometritis). Many uterine infections can be treated with antibiotics, but in extreme cases, infection may require a hysterectomy.

Damage to other organs. Unintended embolization of another organ or tissue can occur. Disruption of the ovarian blood supply is a possibility because the ovaries and uterus share some blood vessels. If you're nearing menopause (perimenopausal), such a disruption could lead to menopause ― but that's rare if you're age 40 or younger.

Impact on fertility. Although the risk of entering menopause after the procedure is low, subtle ovarian damage may make getting pregnant more difficult. There also may be an increased risk of pregnancy complications, especially involving abnormal placement or attachment of the placenta. As lesion defects cannot be closed, leads to uterine wall defects and may cause uterine rupture in pregnancy.

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