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What is Uterine Fibroids Embolization?

Mar 27, 2008
Uterus tumor is non-harmful tumor caused by abnormal growth of uterus wall. This growth is the result from 1 body hormone enhancement and it can vary in size from one inch to more than ten inches long. The tumor can be divided into three type which are:

1. tumor in the outer part of uterus wall
2. tumor in uterus wall
3. tumor in mucus layers of uterus

Signs or symptoms of uterus tumor :
Generally patients with uterus tumor have no signs or symptoms but around 20 % may need to seek for treatment. This depends on size, position and numbers of tumor.

1. Abnormal bleeding from vagina
2. Leg pain, back pain or lumbar pain
3. Pain during intercourse
4. Sign of having been pressed by tumor such as frequent urination or constipation

Diagnosis :
Generally, it can be diagnosed by uterus examination and then confirmed by ultrasound.

Treatment :
1. Medication such as NSAIDs, contraceptive pills and hormone
2. Treatment by operation such as myomectomy, hysterectomy
3. Uterine Fibroids Embolization

What is Embolization?
Embolization is the method to block the red blood vessels which support the tumor. It will result in insufficient blood flow to the tumor and has to be done with care to maintain normal function of uterus wall and to avoid disturbing other red blood vessels in other organs.

Embolization is suitable for :
1. Patient who has tumor and have signs or symptoms can choose this method.
2. Patient who can be at risk for operation.
3. Patient who does not want to have an operation or need to be pregnant in the future.

Advantages of Embolization :
1. Need no surgery and anesthetics
2. Use only local anesthetics so there is no operation scar
3. Shorter hospital stay
4. Short recovery period

Treatment process :
1. Clean skin by antiseptics on the inner right thigh
2. Inject some local anesthetics then a catheter is inserted through the hole which is not wider than 3mm. The opaque substance is injected to enable us to see the general anatomy of the blood vessels.
3. Block the blood vein with blocking agent, the most common one is polyvinyl alcohol particles
4. Do the same to other blood vessels.

Adverse Effects :
Most common ones are stomach upset, nausea or vomiting, 1-2 days after treatment some patients may have fever. These side effects can be easily controlled by painkiller or other supportive treatment.

Treatment outcome :
90% of patients are satisfied with the treatment. They may go back to work only 1 week after. Even though the tumor will not immediately disappear but the size will diminishes and slowly disappear. The function of uterus is still normal and thus reduces the pain or blooding or other side effects.
About the Author
Bangkok Hospital - 36 years of advanced medical technology and expertise, complemented with Thai hospitality and compassionate care. Includes the world-renowned Bangkok Heart Hospital and specializing in oncology, neurology and orthopedics. Some of the worlds most advanced minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment procedures are in place
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