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Embolization of Fibroid Before Surgery: A New Treatment Plan

Posted on August 21, 2023

In the past, women looking for treatment options chose between an embolization of fibroids, or surgical treatments like myomectomy or hysterectomy. Today, doctors are exploring a new way forward. And, by combining treatments, it can lead to better fibroid outcomes, with less blood loss as well!

Step One: Embolization of Fibroid Paulina Astiazaran, MD, Complete Women's Care Center (CWCC), William Fox, MD, Houston Fibroids, Sara Jurney, MD, CWWC, Eric Hardee, MD, Houston Fibroids, Kandace Joye, MD, CWWC and Mariana Karram, MD, CWWC, holding the mayor's proclamation for Uterine Fibroid Awareness Month.

When you have uterine fibroids, these growths can cause many disruptive symptoms. These include heavy periods, bloating, painful sex and more. As such, they start looking for pathways to relief. And that often leads to tough choices: get rid of your uterus entirely, with a hysterectomy. Surgically remove individual tumors, with a myomectomy. Or choose a minimally-invasive treatment option, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization, that shrinks your fibroids by cutting off their blood flow, causing them to shrivel up and eventually go away.

Why were these treatment options so challenging? Well, a hysterectomy cures fibroids. But it also throws you into menopause, and causes many other serious effects. In contrast, a myomectomy is a less invasive procedure. Yet it still requires surgery. And that comes with a more intense recovery period, higher costs, and likely hospital stays.

For many women, UFE is the right middle ground. It relieves fibroid symptoms and treats your fibroids. Yet, for women with very large or multiple uterine fibroids, it may not offer sufficient relief. The solution? Many fibroid specialists, like our team in the greater Houston area, are now suggesting that these women seek embolization prior to myomectomy. Why? By cutting off blood flow to your fibroids prior to their surgical removal, you can dramatically reduce your blood losses during your eventual surgery. In turn, your recovery should be faster and easier.

Step Two: Post-UFE Myomectomy

If you've been told surgical removal of fibroids is your only treatment option, you may still benefit from uterine artery embolization prior to your operation. As we just mentioned, choosing UFE prior to surgery can improve your ultimate outcome and reduce your blood loss during the procedure. Or, in some cases, you may find enough relief to avoid surgery altogether.

Have you been told that your fibroids are so large that you're not a good UFE candidate? Or have you developed so many fibroids that surgery seems to be your only pathway forward? Before you schedule that myomectomy, we urge you to schedule a UFE consultation with our team of fibroid experts in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Sugar Land and Clear Lake. Together, we can review whether an embolization of the fibroid could help reduce the toll surgery takes on your body, or even help you avoid surgery altogether!

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