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#WCW: Condoleezza Rice, UFE Trailblazer

Today, many women treat uterine fibroids without surgery. Choosing UFE, uterine fibroid embolization, is not that unusual. But back in 2004, when Condoleeza Rice was national security advisor to this country, this was not the case. At that time, UFE was a relatively new fibroid treatment method. Nonetheless, Ms. Rice chose this minimally-invasive procedure—and publicized her decision to help other women understand their options. For that, she is our original (and always) Woman Crush Wednesday.

Choosing to Avoid Fibroid Surgery

At the time Ms. Rice treated her non-cancerous tumors of the uterus, 30% of hysterectomies in the U.S. were performed on women with fibroids. And, at that same time, only 13,000 women each year opted for fibroid embolization—after all, it was first performed by French doctors in 1995, so was relatively new less than a decade later.

Even so, Ms. Rice made a bold choice and, after just a one night hospital stay, was able to successfully treat her fibroids with UFE. The procedure itself lasted just an hour and a half. She was treated on a Friday and back to work on Monday.

What is UFE?

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) cuts off blood supply to the tumor, slowing their growth and ultimately shrinking the fibroid.

In our Houston fibroids practice, we trans-radial access, which means we treat your fibroids through the radial artery in your left wrist. Unlike when Ms. Rice had UFE, and the femoral artery provided treatment access, this method has fewer complications and is less painful.  It also means that our patients can sit up and walk right after the procedure, leading to quicker recovery times.

In 2004, UFE was a cutting-edge procedure—and it just keeps getting better. Plus, today, far more women know about and choose this minimally-invasive treatment. Still, too many women don’t know about UFE…and end up having unnecessary surgeries. Join us, and our WCW Condoleezza Rice, in spreading the word. Tell your female friends: #chooseufe!