Category: UFE

Is UFE the Fibroid Fix for You? (Checklist included)

There’s plenty of options when you’re looking for a fibroid fix. But, when you have fibroids, that can make it hard to pick a treatment plan. After all, there are so many different options. Some involve surgery, some don’t. Of course, you want to relieve your symptoms and minimize your down time. And one great option is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). That’s because it’s an intervention that doesn’t require overnight hospital stays or surgery. But, like any medical procedure, it isn’t for everyone. How can you know if UFE is right for you? Let’s explore this quick checklist.

Who Should Have UFE?

By the time they’re 50, most women will develop fibroids. But we’re not doing a great job teaching women about this common condition. Because up to 57% of women think they don’t need to worry about fibroids, according to new survey results.

Then, the problem gets worse when it comes to diagnosing fibroids. For many women, fibroid symptoms such as heavy periods are embarrassing. That makes it harder to talk about your health concerns…and harder to get a fibroids diagnosis. In fact, 37% of women living with fibroids haven’t yet been diagnosed. Plus, even after getting diagnosed, the sea of treatment options may be overwhelming. And that’s before you realize many treatment options never get discussed by your doctor.

For some women, myomectomy (surgery to remove a fibroid) will be the right choice. Others may need a hysterectomy (removal of uterus.) But, you may be a candidate for UFE if: 

  • You have fibroid symptoms
  • Keeping your uterus is important
  • You want to avoid surgery
  • Surgery would be dangerous for you
  • You are not pregnant

Finding Your Ideal Fibroid Fix

We hope you now understand who may be a good UFE candidate. But there are other factors to consider when it comes to UFE, which is why we’ve included this easy checklist. (Pictured at right)

Are you looking for your best fibroid fix? Download and fill out this form honestly. Then, bring it in with you to your next doctor’s appointment. As you review your answers, know this: if you’ve responded yes to one or more of the categories, you may be a good candidate for UFE! And if that’s the case, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our Houston area fibroid specialists, Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee. That’s the best way to see if UFE can help resolve your fibroid symptoms!

Sources: Harris Poll, Society of Intervention Radiology

There’s A Treatment for Fibroids That Improves Your Sex Life

It’s no secret that uterine fibroids can cause you to experience a number of unpleasant symptoms. Women commonly report bloating, abdominal pain and irregular or heavy bleeding, none of which are conducive to enjoying a typical sexual relationship. In fact, the effects of life with uterine fibroids can be debilitating for some women.

Results after UFEUnfortunately, half of women diagnosed with uterine fibroids are told that having a hysterectomy is their only option–even though studies show that uterine fibroid embolization is safe, effective and produces fewer complications than surgical hysterectomy.

Improved Sexual Function after UFE

In an  EFUZEN study conducted in 2016, researchers looked at how the procedure known as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) affected sexual function in women.

Study participants underwent imaging with MRI before treatment, and again at three and six months after having the procedure.

Researchers wanted to know if fibroid embolization would help improve the women’s sexual function, and if so, by how much. They also sought to evaluate the participants’ quality of life before treatment and one year after UFE. They hoped to gain a better understanding of how fibroid size impacted a woman’s sexual function and her quality of life.

The study used two scoring systems: 

  • Female Sexual Function Index [FSFI] score
  • Uterine Fibroid Symptom Quality-of-Life (UFS-QOL)

Both of these are commonly used by physicians and researchers exploring women’s health conditions.

Results of the Study

When the study was concluded, researchers found women who had UFE enjoyed a significant improvement for both scores. FSFI improvement was shown in 78.8% of women one year after treatment. 90.2% of women reported an improvement in their USF-QOL scores.

The numbers don’t lie. UFE can help reduce ALL your fibroid symptoms, so you can reclaim your sexual health.

If you suffer from uterine fibroids, talk to your doctor about the options and see if a uterine fibroid embolization procedure is right for you.

Shelley’s Story

Uterine fibroids is a condition that affects over 70% of women in the U.S. by age 50. Excessive menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain are common symptoms of uterine fibroids, and often disturbs one’s day-to-day lifestyle. Shelley, a patient at Houston Fibroids, suffered from uterine fibroids and described her periods and cramps before fibroid treatment as “excruciatingly painful” with excessive bleeding. Additionally, she found sexual intercourse to be quite painful.

Shelley didn’t want to resort to getting a hysterectomy to treat her conditions, and went through an informative consultation process with Houston Fibroids to explore less invasive treatment options. Shelley had minimal pain and downtime after the Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) procedure, and after a year, has no symptoms of uterine fibroids. “It’s been a little over a year and I’ve had no pain during sex anymore, no bleeding during sex anymore, my cramping is very light, it’s normal now, and my periods are not heavy whatsoever.”

When asked if she had advice for anyone suffering from uterine fibroids, Shelley recommended the UFE procedure. “I’ve always recommended this. It was recommended to me from another patient, and I truly feel it changed my life.”

If you would like to learn more about how UFE can help treatment uterine fibroids, contact Houston Fibroids at (713) 575-3686 for a consultation.

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#WCW: Helping Vanessa Beat her Fibroid Pain

In our fibroids practice, we strive to provide women with treatments that help them alleviate their pain and frustration without having to undergo surgery. What makes this mission so rewarding is hearing from our happy patients. Recently, one of our patients, Vanessa Williams, agreed to share her story of pain and recovery with other women in search of help with their fibroids. 

Vanessa’s Fibroid Story
Ms. Williams had been in pain and dealing with other complications when she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Still a young woman, she did not want to be treated with a hysterectomy (the surgical removal of her uterus), an option that would immediately send her into menopause. Yes, it would solve her fibroid problem, but it would also leave her facing a long and painful recovery. She knew there had to be a better option.

Doing her Research
Like so many of us do, Vanessa hit the internet in search of alternate treatment options for women with fibroids. Thankfully, during her search, Ms. Williams came across our Houston Fibroids Facebook page—and that’s when everything started to change.

On our page, she learned about Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) a non-invasive treatment option that could permanently shrink her tumors by cutting off their supply of blood and oxygen. She read first-hand accounts of women who’d had the procedure and whose lives had truly been changed by their ability to manage pain without undergoing a hysterectomy. She was convinced, and she came into our office.

Inside her Recovery
At our office, Vanessa met with Dr. Fox. At the initial consultation, during which she was determined to be a good candidate for UFE, Ms. William’s was able to ask all her questions and get immediate answers from our team of experts. She decided to go ahead with UFE and scheduled a procedure date.

After her treatment, during which a catheter was inserted into her arm to deliver embolizing materials to her fibroids, Vanessa was determined to return to our Facebook page and share her story in the hopes of helping other women find and learn about this alternative treatment option. She had the following words to share about her journey:

After the procedure, “It was very painful for about three days due to the cramping. I had meds but had a hard time taking them. However I am so thrilled after totally healing. I have so much energy!! My stomach shrank as well. So look into this if you suffer with fibroids. All of my female issues gradually started to leave. As of two weeks ago I’m 100 better totally free of those issues”

Find Your Fix
We are grateful to Vanessa for so generously sharing her story, and to all of our patients who have bravely opened up about the benefits of UFE, helping so many women learn about their options. For more information on UFE and other fibroid treatments, feel free to reach out to our office staff and team of physicians.  

Is UFE Covered by Insurance?

Many women diagnosed with uterine tumors are worried about covering the cost of fibroid treatments. In our Houston fibroids practice, we offer a non-invasive, alternative  treatment option known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization. Its benefits include: minimal downtime, no hospital stays and the ability to avoid surgery and hysterectomy! 

Fortunately for patients seeking relief from fibroid pain, UFE is an established and accepted fibroid treatment option. As such, all major insurers (and most plans in general) will cover the cost of treatment (check out the helpful video below for more information from one of our fibroid experts, Dr. Hardee.) In fact, because we perform all UFE procedures in our Houston fibroids office, on an outpatient basis, many patients are faced with much lower out-of-pocket expenses in comparison to other treatment options. While surgeries like myomectomies and hysterectomies require costly hospital stays, anesthesia and other additional expenses, many women who decide to proceed with UFE are billed for as little as an office visit co-pay. Additionally, by September, many women will have met their insurance plan deductibles, further lowering the expected cost of treating fibroids.

Of course, as an office, we want patients to focus on getting better, not on worrying about paying for their treatment. For that reason, our experienced team is on hand and available to help with handling any insurance issues that come up for patients being evaluated and treated for uterine fibroids. Even before your treatments begin, someone from our office will contact your insurance company directly to address any coverage issues before treatment.

 Insurance and our Houston Fibroid Practice

Uterine-Fibroid-Treatment-for-African-American-Women in HoustonThankfully, our practice also works with a wide variety of insurers: from Medicare to HMO plans, we have one of the most comprehensive insurance offerings in the greater Houston area. This means that you will more-than-likely be covered when it comes to paying for UFE.

With over 30 years of combined experience treating women suffering from fibroids, Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee know how difficult dealing with fibroids can be. That’s why our doctors offer a less invasive treatment option and a variety of ways to pay for the treatment itself. Don’t let concerns about cost prevent you from treating your fibroid pain. Contact our office at (713) 575-3686 to begin your insurance-covered journey to better health! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#WCW: Gabrielle Union, Fertility Warrior!

Welcome back to Woman Crush Wednesday! This week we’re celebrating Gabrielle Union, who’s opening up about adenomyosis, a condition that threatens the fertility of many women around the world.  

Gabrielle’s journey began when she and husband Dwayne Wade (of the NBA’s Miami Heat) decided to start a family. Unable to conceive on their own, Gabrielle says she turned to many unsuccessful rounds of IVF to try and become pregnant. Instead of getting support from her doctors, however, the star says she was basically blamed for her own infertility: “Everyone had just sort of chalked it up to ‘You’re a career woman, you’ve prioritized your career, you waited too long and now you’re just too old to have a kid,'” she said. “And that’s on you for wanting a career.”

Fortunately, Gabrielle did not stop looking for answers and, soon enough, she and her doctors discovered the truth: she had adenomyosis, a type of endometriosis that can cause infertility. 

According to Gabrielle, who now wants to raise infertility awareness among women of all ages, she’s had the condition since she was in her 20s. Adenomyosis occurs when uterine lining tissue is found in the muscle layers surrounding the uterus. It is sometimes hard to diagnose because the misplaced tissue acts like other uterine tissue, shedding itself at the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Many women have no symptoms, though some experience cramping, pelvic pain and unusual spotting. 

Any woman who has had uterine surgery, including fibroid removals and/or a cesarean section, is at risk for developing adenomyosis; women between the ages of 40 and 50 make up 80 percent of diagnosed cases, so age also appears to be a risk factor. 

Complications like Gabrielle Union’s are just one reason our doctors encourage early, non-invasive treatment options for uterine fibroids. After all, as Ms. Union is now telling fans as she relates her story of struggle, “Fertility is not an older women issue, it is an issue period.”

TV Star Faces Fibroid Surgery after Delayed Intervention

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. Myths about uterine fibroids

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.

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