Fibroid tumors of the uterus are very common, but for most women, they either do
not cause symptoms or cause only minor symptoms. Fibroids can cause very heavy
menstrual bleeding, clotting and pelvic pain, leading many women to seek
treatment. Fibroids often fail to respond to medical therapy and then surgical
procedures are often recommended.
This procedure is performed by Interventional radiologists, specially trained
who use X-rays and other imaging techniques to "see" inside the body. They guide
narrow tubes (catheters) and other very small instruments through the blood
and other pathways of the body to the site of a problem, treating a variety of
disorders without surgery. Procedures performed by Interventional Radiologists (IRs)
are generally less costly and less traumatic to the patient, involving smaller
incisions, less pain, and shorter hospital stays.
Uterine fibroids are
the most common tumors of the female genital tract. You might hear them referred
to as "fibroids" or by several other names, including leiomyoma, leiomyomata,
myoma and fibromyoma. Fibroids are noncancerous (benign) growths that develop in
the muscular wall of the uterus. While fibroids do not always cause symptoms,
their size and location can lead to problems for some women, including pain and
The exact causes for fibroid development are unclear, but researchers have
linked them to both a genetic predisposition and a subsequent development of
susceptibility to hormone stimulation. Women may have a genetic predisposition
to fibroid development and then subsequently develop factors that allow fibroids
to grow under the influence of a number of hormones. This would explain why
certain ethnic groups or racial groups are more likely to develop fibroids and
also why there tends to be genetic predisposition in some families.
Fibroids range greatly in size from very tiny (a quarter of an inch) to larger
than a cantaloupe (10 inches or more). In some cases they can cause the uterus
to grow to the size of a five-month pregnancy and the woman looks as though she
is pregnant. In most cases, there is more than one fibroid in the uterus.
Fibroids can be located in various parts of the uterus. There are three primary
fibroids, which develop under the outside covering of the uterus and expand
outward through the wall, giving the uterus a knobby appearance.
They typically do not affect a woman's menstrual flow, but can cause pelvic
pain, back pain and generalized pressure. The subserosal fibroid can
develop a stalk or stem-like base, making it difficult to distinguish from an
ovarian mass. These are called pedunculated. The correct diagnosis can be made
with either an ultrasound or magnetic resonance (MR) exam.
Intramural fibroids, which develop within the lining of the uterus and
expand inward, increasing the size of the uterus, and making it feel larger than
normal in a gynecologic internal exam. These are the most common fibroids.
Intramural fibroids can result in heavier menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain,
back pain or the generalized pressure that many women experience.
Submucosal fibroids, which are just under the lining of the uterus. These
are the least common fibroids, but they tend to cause the most problems. Even a
very small submucosal fibroid can cause heavy bleeding — gushing, very heavy and
|Am I a candidate for Fibroid
|Most patients are candidates for UFE,
based upon their medical condition, imaging studies, and lifestyle.
Make an appointment in our office to see if UFE is the right choice