Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that form in or around the uterus, and are typically confirmed with an ultrasound. These growths are quite common, and between 20 and 70 percent of all women will develop them at some point during their reproductive years. While these growths are almost always non-cancerous, they can result in several negative health complications. It’s important to understand the four different types of uterine fibroids, and to watch carefully for the associated symptoms.
When you receive your diagnosis, your doctor will let you know what type of uterine fibroids have been found. The types differ based on location, and what areas of the reproductive organs can be affected by the fibroid’s continued growth.
Intramural fibroids develop in between the muscular layers of the uterine wall. They can be classified as anterior (front), posterior (back), or fundal (upper), depending on which part of the uterus they are located.
Submucosal fibroids are the least common type of uterine fibroid, and grow in the middle muscular layer of the uterus called the myometrium. Submucosal fibroids have been known to cause menstrual bleeding complications.
The most common type of fibroid, subserosal fibroids develop on the outside uterine membrane. These can continue to grow outward from the uterus, pushing out into the pelvis.
When subserosal fibroids develop stems, they have the possibility of developing pedunculated fibroids. These fibroids connect to the tip of these stems, and can grow both outside and inside the cavity of the uterus.
Every patient is different, and there is a possibility that uterine fibroids may produce no noticeable symptoms at all. But asymptomatic fibroids can continue to develop and become symptomatic later on. It’s vital to watch for the symptoms of uterine fibroids, and seek treatment as quickly as possible.
Symptoms may include any of the following:
One way to effectively treat uterine fibroids is to block the blood vessels feeding them. Uterine fibroid embolization, or UFE, is a highly efficacious and minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to the fibroids, ceasing their growth. Without functioning blood vessels these fibroids will quickly begin to shrink, dying shortly after.
A UFE procedure is performed by a highly trained interventional radiologist, and is done under local anesthesia. While the patient is sedated and will not experience pain, they are allowed to remain conscious. A very small incision is made in the skin near the femoral or radial artery, and a catheter is carefully guided to the uterine fibroid.
Once reached, micro-spheres of medical grade plastic or gelatin are released to cut off the fibroid’s blood supply. Once the blood vessels are successfully stemmed, the fibroid immediately starts to shrink. Using a contrast fluid, the doctor will observe to make sure the blood flow is completely blocked, and the procedure is concluded.
A UFE procedure is best suited for patients who are not currently pregnant, and are over the age of 35. This procedure works most effectively for those experiencing heavy bleeding due to symptomatic uterine fibroids, and patients free from any pelvic cancer or pelvic infections.
A minimally invasive procedure like UFE is also a good choice for those who wish to avoid general anesthesia, and don’t wish to utilize intensive surgical options like a myomectomy or hysterectomy.
Recovery is far quicker with UFE compared to invasive surgical options. No overnight stay is required, and you will leave the facility the same day and recover in the comfort of your own home. Patients who choose UFE experience high rates of symptom relief, and don’t suffer the scars associated with surgical procedures.
UFE is also an excellent choice for women who don’t wish to have their uterus removed. While a hysterectomy is one solution to uterine fibroids, it carries significantly more risk of complications. UFE is an effective treatment that doesn’t involve the same risks as a major surgery, and has a high chance of relieving painful symptoms.
When choosing a vascular team to perform your uterine fibroid embolization, it’s important to choose well-trained professionals, who have access to the absolute best in state-of-the-art medical technology.
If you want medical expertise you can trust, and a facility designed with your safety and comfort in mind, ProVas Labs is the best choice for your UFE procedure.
At ProVas Labs, we care deeply about our patients’ well-being, and we’ve made it our mission to offer proven surgical alternatives with minimal recovery time. Our focus is specifically on vascular treatments, so you can rest easy knowing your procedure is being performed by an experienced and skilled specialist.
Major surgery is not your only option. If you don’t wish to have a hysterectomy, a UFE treatment can offer you relief from uterine fibroids without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. We understand this can be a confusing time, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Our staff is ready to help, simply schedule a consultation today!
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