Uterine Fibroid Embolization Risks
Uterine fibroid embolization is a medical procedure used to treat fibroid tumors. These tumors can grow anywhere on the uterus-outside, inside or in the wall. Uterine fibroids are not cancerous. If they don’t cause problems, you do not need to treat them. It is possible to have fibroids and not even know it. Women who do have fibroids often find that they shrink after menopause.
Embolizaton is aimed at shrinking fibroids but cutting off their blood supply. The arteries that supply the fibroid are injected with tiny particles to stop the blood supply to the fibroid and eventually shrink it. Uterine fibroid embolization does not cure all fibroids. One study shows that almost 20 percent of women who opt for this fibroid tumor treatment repeat the procedure or end up having a hysterectomy within 3 ½ years.
There are some risks involved in uterine fibroid embolization. It may be harder to get pregnant after having this procedure done. Additionally, pregnancies that do occur after uterine fibroid embolization are higher risk than the general population. An ovary or the uterus itself could be damaged during embolization which means that getting pregnant is very unlikely. Most of the serious risks are relatively rare and include uterine infection, ovary damage, radiation exposure, and the formation of scar tissue. It is possible that another organ may also be subject to embolization, causing potentially serious complications. Your doctor is your best source of information in deciding about this procedure.
Uterine fibroid symptoms are many and varied. Symptoms may come on slowly or rapidly. The most common symptoms are a heavy menstrual flow and pain. Some women may have difficulty getting pregnant because fibroids and pregnancy don’t go well together. In addition to menstrual issues, other symptoms include pelvic pressure and pain, bloating, miscarriage, difficult bowel movements, pain during intercourse, frequent urination and incontinence.