Uterine Fibroid Center
The goal of the Uterine Fibroid Center at Baptist South is to provide a non-surgical, minimally invasive alternative to a hysterectomy for women with symptomatic fibroids.
Uterine fibroids are common benign tumors that grow from the muscular wall of the uterus. Fibroids may cause heavy bleeding, pelvic discomfort, bloated abdomen, anemia, leg pain, and create pressure on other organs such as the bladder and bowels.
As many as 80 percent of all women have uterine fibroids and approximately 5.5 million American women have symptoms severe enough to require treatment. Of the 600,000 hysterectomies performed each year in the U. S., one-third are for symptomatic uterine fibroids. Hysterectomy is an invasive surgical procedure in which the entire uterus is removed. Hysterectomy usually requires a four-to-six week recovery period. Myomectomy is the actual removal of the fibroids and is another surgery commonly performed to treat fibroids. Although it is uterine sparing, myomectomy is highly invasive and also requires a long recovery period.
The alternative to hysterectomy that is less invasive and spares the uterus is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the groin and a catheter is guided into the uterine arteries. Small particles are then injected via the catheter into the blood vessels that feed the fibroids and block the blood flow to the tumors. Most patients see rapid symptom relief and over time, the fibroids shrink.
Clinical studies have shown that UFE provides substantial improvement in major symptoms, including pain, pelvic discomfort and urinary problems. At the six-month follow-up, 94 percent of the women treated with UFE reported being satisfied with the procedure. Women returned to their daily activities more than three times faster than those who had a hysterectomy.
Women interested in more information about UFE can call the Uterine Fibroid Center at Baptist South at 286-2UFE (2833).