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Uterine Artery Embolization

Illustration showing the uterine artery emobliation procedure

Minimally invasive treatment

An alternative to surgery, embolization consists in blocking the blood supply to fibroids, causing their biological activity to cease, shrinking them, and eventually making them disappear.

About the procedure

The procedure takes 1 to 3 hours, followed by a 6-hour recovery in bed. It does not require anesthesia but sedation is used to keep the patient relaxed while she is awake. Embolization is performed in a radiology room and consists of 3 stages:

In Stage One, contrast material is injected intravenously through the arm so as to render the vasculature visible, i.e., the blood vessels feeding the fibroid(s). X-rays are also taken to determine the way in which the fibroid(s) is/are supplied with blood.

In Stage Two, a catheter is introduced through the femoral artery at the groin, and it is brought up to the blood input vessels that feed the fibroid(s). Once there, blockers that prevent the passage of blood are injected.

In Stage Three, it is verified that the blocking performed has been effective and that all details are right.

Although currently there are no conclusive studies as regards the effect of embolization on fertility, preliminary evidence suggests that generally it does not disrupt the reproductive function and that it might be a choice for women who desire a future pregnancy.

  • Embolization might require a hospital stay overnight.
  • Recovery takes 6 to 10 days.
  • Is not suitable for all types of fibroids.

Complications, risks, and discomfort associated with uterine artery embolization

Though relatively new, embolization is a safe procedure, which may present the following risks and discomfort:

  • Moderate to severe pain in the first 12 hours, which is relieved through analgesics. Occasionally the pain occurs for longer periods, and is controlled in the same way.
  • Possible vaginal bleeding during the first two weeks after treatment, a sign that the fibroid is disintegrating.
  • On rare occasions, menstruation can cease and menopause is presented in advance.
  • Rarely, an infection can occur leading to the need for hysterectomy.
  • Depending on the number and type of fibroids, it is possible to require more than one session of embolization.


 

Interesting facts about embolization

Pain during recovery Pain during recovery
Hospital stay 9 hours
Recovery at home 6 to 10 days
Type of sedation
Sedative  It is required    Local anesth.  It is not required  General anesth.  It is not required


Start today!

With the best diagnosis at the best price: a gynecological magnetic resonance scan

The more precise the diagnosis of your fibroid condition, the best your possibilities are of ending with the troublesome symptoms caused by them. For this reason we are offering you the most advanced diagnosis at the lowest cost.

  • Clinical history and registration of your personal preferences.
  • Gynecological MR imaging of lower abdomen.
  • Assessment of your fibroid condition by a medical council of experts.
  • Consultation to explain you your study results in detail and the strategy we recommend.

Cost of the diagnostic through magnetic resonance scan (including the assessment and a consultation with an expert to explain to you your results): $2,163 MXN pesos (around $155 USD taxes included).

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