When it comes to fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding, different doctors offer different treatments, but many opt for surgical removal or even hysterectomy (the complete removal of a woman’s uterus.) Since 1995, however, a different option has been available: like Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee at Houston Fibroids, doctors can now treat fibroids with embolization, a process that cuts off blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink without invasive surgery.
While there have been debates about each option, a new study from Denmark has now proved that patients have better long-term outcomes after embolization!
Known as the EMMY study, this Dutch trial followed 156 women for 10 years after they were treated for uterine fibroids. All of the women had symptoms that made them eligible for hysterectomies. Of these women, 81 were treated with embolization and 75 had hysterectomies. Ten years after their procedures, researchers questioned the women on their quality of life and came up with very interesting findings: of the women who had embolization, only 28 needed a hysterectomy. The remaining 53 women who avoided hysterectomies reported similar health satisfaction to those 75 women who were given immediate hysterectomies. In short, the results prove that hysterectomies typically don’y need to be the first plan of attack in a fibroid treatment plan. As study leader Jim Reekers says, “Uterine artery embolization is a well-documented and good alternative to hysterectomy for symptomatic uterine fibroids, on which all eligible patients should be counseled.”
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As this study shows, hysterectomy is often avoidable when it comes to treating fibroids. Even in women who eventually will require a hysterectomy, embolization treatments can delay the need for major surgery and, of course, the onset of menopause that comes with a hysterectomy. When it comes to your health, knowledge is power. Before undergoing a life-altering hysterectomy procedure, or any kind of invasive fibroid treatment plan, schedule a consultation with our office team to discuss your eligibility for UFE, our highly effective, minimally invasive fibroid treatment option.
It’s #WomanCrushWednesday, and we just had to kick off our series by honoring fibroids warrior Tamika Gray Valburn, founder of The White Dress Project. For years, Tanika suffered from fibroids, having been diagnosed in her teens and having seen her mom lose two sets of twins due to her own fibroids! Eventually, Tanika had to have a myomectomy, surgically removing 27 fibroids from her uterus.
After her recovery, Tanika wanted to help other women. In 2014, Tanika convinced a Georgia state representative to officially declare July as Fibroid Awareness Month, helping women get the crucial health information they need.
But she didn’t stop there. While thinking about her experiences, Tanika realized that she’d never bought white clothing. She said, “I hadn’t been able to wear white” because of her fibroid symptoms, which included very heavy bleeding. “Something like that seems so trivial, but for me it was another reminder that I had the mental anxiety of not being able to participate in things.”
The White Dress Project
That same year, Tanika founded the White Dress Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting fibroids awareness, supporting research, and bringing together a community of women who work to empower one another. The white dress became their symbol, as it signified a milestone in Tanika’s recovery – the moment she could rock a white dress without any fear. Now, the white dress has become a symbol of strength and power to other women dealing with fibroids, becoming one step in the fight to take control of their menstrual health issues.
As doctors involved in the daily battle against fibroids, we salute Tanika, our forever #WCW. We invite all women who are dealing with fibroids to slip on their white dresses and take control of their health by learning more about UFE, a minimally invasive treatment for fibroids!
An Indian TV host is sharing her story after delaying fibroid treatments forced her to have invasive surgery. According to Fatma Mohammed, two years ago, troubling symptoms sent her to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. At the time, she says, only five fibroids were detected.
Unfortunately, Mohammed did not seek immediate treatment. By the time she was ready for help, the first five fibroids had grown bigger. Additionally, 21 new fibroids had developed. At that point, Mohammed’s physicians opted to surgically remove the fibroids. Following her recovery from major surgery, Mohammed decided to publicize her outcome so that other women could avoid similar situations. “I was informed that if only I had sought treatment when the five were first detected then I would not have gone under the knife,” she says. “Laparoscopy (a surgical procedure in which a fiber-optic instrument is inserted through the abdominal wall) would have removed them.”
We are so grateful that Fatma is telling her story, but we’re also terribly sad. It’s true that early treatment is crucial for fibroids, but it’s also true that laparoscopic surgery is still surgery.
In our Houston Fibroids practice, we offer women a non-surgical, out-patient treatment option known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). It’s delivered through an artery in the left wrist, so patients can sit up and walk out of the office right after the procedure! While not every patient is a candidate, many can benefit from UFE. You don’t have to have radical procedures like surgical fibroid removal or a hysterectomy.
If you have been diagnosed with fibroids and are currently considering treatment options, schedule a consultation with our doctors. Our team of experts can help you determine how UFE can help you start feeling like yourself again.
Adenomyosis is a benign, non-life threatening condition, but if you suffer with its painful effects, all you want is relief. Unfortunately it can be confused with uterine fibroids and other conditions, so it can be difficult to diagnose without proper medical attention.
One of the newer treatments for Adenomyosis is UAE, or Uterine Artery Embolization. How does its effectiveness stack up against other treatments?
Continue reading “How Can UAE Help Adenomyosis”
Uterine fibroids are an issue that approximately 70 percent of women will face in their lifetime. Many women suffering from abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain and pressure caused by fibroids want relief as soon as possible.
Continue reading “Who Shouldn’t Get a Hysterectomy?”
During a hysterectomy, the uterus is removed and depending on the case, the ovaries may also be removed. This surgery is among the ten most common operations performed every year in the US. In fact, over 300,000 hysterectomies are performed for benign (noncancerous) conditions every year.
Continue reading “Could Having A Hysterectomy Be Bad For Your Heart?”
Uterine fibroids can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms:
Continue reading “Consider This Instead of a Hysterectomy”
As common as uterine fibroids are, it’s obvious why a month is dedicated to it in an effort to help raise awareness, research, and funding.
Continue reading “July is Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month”
When a woman is diagnosed with uterine fibroids, there are a few treatment options to chose from, including hysterectomy and myomectomy. During a laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy, a surgical instrument called a power morcellator is often used. Laparoscopic power morcellators help the surgeon to divide and fragment tissue into smaller pieces to facilitate the removal of the tissue through small surgical incisions.
Continue reading “Why Morcellation is Dangerous During Uterine Fibroid Treatment”
Uterine fibroids are the leading cause of women undergoing a hysterectomy, even though most women prefer a uterus preserving treatment option.
Continue reading “UFE is Underused as a Fibroid Treatment Option”