While uterine fibroids are incredibly common, no two women experience them exactly the same. The same is true for fibroid treatments – there are a few options out there, but which to choose depends on a woman’s unique situation. Understanding the risks and benefits of each procedure can help create confidence in the decision making process.
Fibroid Treatment Options
Certain medications can shrink fibroids or slow their growth, but often come with side effects; therefore, a woman could only take them for a limited time. This route isn’t entirely sustainable as fibroids tend to grow back quickly after medication discontinues.
Hysterectomy – A hysterectomy is a MAJOR surgical procedure usually performed by a gynecologist or general surgeon in a hospital setting. The goal of this procedure is to permanently remove the uterus.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization – Commonly known as UFE, this procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that aims to remove the fibroids growing on the uterus. A physician uses a thin tube, inserted via a small puncture, to insert microscopic beads to stop blood flow to the fibroid. The entire procedure occurs in an outpatient setting.
UFE vs. Hysterectomy – What to Consider
- Invasiveness – what is the amount of trauma involved in the procedure?
- Safety – what are the risks of major side effects?
- Pregnancy – will further pregnancies be possible?
- Recovery Time – how long will recovery take?
- Hospital Stay – how many nights will require a hospitalization?
Which Fibroid Treatment is Best?
There’s much to consider when it comes to determining the best course of action for fibroid treatments. Major surgeries, like a hysterectomy, come with an increased risk of infection and much longer recovery times. Additionally, a hysterectomy guarantees no further pregnancies. Lengthy (and expensive) hospital stays could also be possible.
If you’re looking for a lower risk, non-surgical option that preserves your uterus with equivalent or better results, UFE may be the option for you. The procedure is short. Occurs in an outpatient setting. And gets you back to daily activities quickly. The risk of infection is quite low with UFE and requires no hospital stay – which ultimately lowers risk of infection.
If you’ve been diagnosed with fibroids and would like to discuss your options, contact ECCO to get in touch with our expert physicians.