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Understanding the Risks of Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Understanding the Risks of Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroids are an extremely common affliction in the United States, affecting millions of American women. Those suffering from this condition often experience lower back pain, abnormal menstrual bleeding, frequent urination, and a variety of other frustrating symptoms. Until the development of uterine fibroid embolization, patients had only surgical options to choose from for treatment. These procedures, including hysterectomy and myomectomy, involved long recovery periods and increased risks of surgical complications.

Thanks to the introduction of uterine fibroid embolization, women now have a safe and effective non-surgical treatment option available to relieve their symptomatic uterine fibroids. This minimally invasive treatment also requires much less recovery time for the vast majority of women. Like any other medical procedure, however, uterine fibroid embolization does come with certain risks, along with its many benefits. Listed below are some of the risks associated with this therapy.

  • Scar tissue formation: Some types of uterine fibroids can result in the formation of adhesions, or bands of scar tissue, between other organs when treated using uterine fibroid embolization. This risk is also associated with the myomectomy procedure.
  • Radiation exposure: During the uterine fibroid embolization procedure, your pelvic region is exposed to a small amount of radiation, which is used to visualize the uterus and other tissues. As with any imaging procedure utilizing electromagnetic radiation, this exposure does come with a slight risk.
  • Possible effects on fertility: Although many women have had healthy and successful pregnancies after the uterine fibroid embolization procedure, it may increase a woman’s risk of developing abnormalities of the placenta during pregnancy.

When performed by an experienced, knowledgeable physician, this non-surgical treatment option can provide many excellent benefits to patients suffering from uterine fibroids. If you are interested in learning more about whether or not this treatment is right for you, contact the Center for Image Guided Medicine at Emory Adventist Hospital by calling (770) 801-4634.

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