Here in Houston, our team of interventional radiologists have been providing UFE for years. Short for Uterine Fibroid Embolization, this is minimally-invasive fibroid treatment that’s been around for quite some time. But in other parts of the world, that isn’t the case. Internationally, women have spent years dealing with fibroid symptoms or opting for invasive treatments like hysterectomies.
A hysterectomy is a serious surgery that immediately puts a woman into menopause. It can also leave her dealing with years of complications. That’s why we are happy to reveal that Uterine Fibroid Embolization, an effective outpatient fibroid procedure, has a rich history in this country. Plus, now, it’s available to the women of Nepal and other international locations.
History of UFE Alternative to Hysterectomy
The first Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure was in Paris in 1974. The procedure helped a woman whose fibroids caused heavy bleeding and anemia. Then, after years of development, the doctors launched the first clinical trial in 1995.
At that time, the results were great. Of the participants, 75% saw great results. Then, in turn, five and 10-year studies proved this minimally-invasive treatment was a great alternative to hysterectomy.
Today’s fibroid patients have so many treatment options. And, luckily, we’ve got solid evidence that UFE provides outcomes that are equal to (or better than) myomectomy. (For those who don’t know, that’s a procedure that surgically removes individual fibroids. On the treatment scale of invasiveness, it’s below hysterectomy. But it’s still a surgery that involves sedation.)
Because of good outcomes and less down time, more and more women are choosing UFE for fibroid treatment. This is helping so many patients avoid unnecessary hysterectomies. And it’s helped spread the word about this fibroid treatment option all across the world.
UFE Comes to Kathmandu
Recently, the doctors at Nepal Mediciti Hospital performed a UFE procedure on a 37-year-old Kathmandu resident.
With UFE, doctors insert a catheter into your arm in order to access the arteries that supply blood to your uterus—and your fibroids. They inject particles into the catheter (a small, flexible tube) blocking the surrounding blood vessels and cutting off the fibroid’s nourishment. This blockage causes your fibroids to shrink and then die.
The procedure can often be performed on an out-patient basis. You do not typically need to stay in the hospital when you have UFE. And, usually, your recovery period is brief: many women return to work or regular activity levels within days of treatment.
Any time we see women gaining more healthcare options, our fibroid specialists start to celebrate. There is nothing we care about more than helping women avoid invasive surgeries that can impact their fertility—and the rest of their lives.