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Embolization And Surgery – What Treatment Option To Choose For Fibroids Management

September 27th, 2017

Embolization And Surgery – What Treatment Option To Choose For Fibroids Management

Embolization And Surgery – What Treatment Option To Choose For Fibroids Management

Fibroids are non-cancerous growth that originate within the uterus and may present with a variety of symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, painful periods and infertility. Unfortunately, uterine fibroids occur very frequently in women with reproductive aged group. According to latest estimates, as much as 50% women of African America descent and up to 25% white women develop this problem at some point of their life. Although, most of them are small in size, but it is not uncommon to have very large fibroids.

How To Manage Uterine Fibroids?

Since fibroids are non-cancerous, it not mandatory to opt for aggressive surgical interventions to remove all the them. Treatments are usually sort for fibroids that are painful or are presenting with serious signs and symptoms. Most common (or traditional) treatment modalities for fibroid management are:

  • Myomectomy (removal of the fibroid) – ideally recommended for women with few and small fibroids
  • Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) – this method is ideally recommended for females who have multiple fibroids, who have completed their family and are approaching menopause
  • Most newer and interventional techniques like regression of fibroid by uterine artery embolization – a procedure that involves blocking or cutting off the blood supply to the uterine walls

Details Of The Study

Uterine Diseases image

A new study conducted by Edinburgh and Glasgow scientists has explored the benefits and drawbacks ofinterventional treatments methods like uterine artery embolization in the management of fibroids versus traditional surgical procedures. Investigators collected and analyzed data from two sets of women;

  • First set of women was comprised of 51 females who underwent surgical intervention such as myomectomy and hysterectomy.
  • Second set of women was comprised of 106 females who chose uterine artery embolization

After 1 -year follow-up, investigators discovered that regardless of the procedure, there was no significant difference in the quality of results obtained with either treatment modality. Nonetheless, women who underwent surgery spend a longer period of time at the hospital. In addition:

  • Women who chose uterine artery embolization underwent repeat procedure and repeat admissions due to inadequate quality of results with the first set of treatment.
  • 13% women experienced adverse effects or complications associated with the procedure after embolization versus 20% women who experienced adverse effects after undergoing surgery.

Investigators discovered that although surgical removal of fibroids is still one of the most popular treatment methods due to better quality of results and minimal need of repeat procedures; it is definitely associated with a longer recovery time. It is highly recommended to speak to an expert in order to discuss potential pros and cons before opting for treatment. The results of this study were published in the peer reviewed journal The New England Journal of Medicine.


“Uterine-Artery Embolization versus Surgery for Symptomatic Uterine Fibroids.”The REST Investigators: Writing Committee of the Randomized Trial of Embolization versus Surgical Treatment: Richard D. Edwards, M.B., Ch.B., and Jonathan G. Moss, M.B., Ch.B., et al.The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 356:360-370, January 25, 2007, Number 4

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