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Uterine Fibroid Embolization - Article Example

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Fibroids in the uterus are tumor-like tissues that can be malignant, though are usually benign. However, these fibroids cause obstructions in the uterus, creating heavy menstruation, pelvic pain and increased pressure on the bladder and bowels. …
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Uterine Fibroid Embolization
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13 September Uterine Fibroid Embolization For years, uterine artery embolization was used to treat women during childbirth to remove obstructions of the blood vessels carried by an undissolved material in the blood. Years later, gynecologists and other doctors discovered that a similar procedure could be treated for uterine fibroid treatment. It has eventually become so technologically advanced, that it is a highly advantageous procedure with minimal risk and a better long-term treatment compared to previous procedures. Fibroids in the uterus are tumor-like tissues that can be malignant, though are usually benign. However, these fibroids cause obstructions in the uterus, creating heavy menstruation, pelvic pain and increased pressure on the bladder and bowels. This technique has since been deemed successful to treat the fibroids and according to the article Uterine Fibroid Embolization, there has been a 90 percent success rate for up to five years for the patient and, dependent on the type of fibroid the woman has, is the number one treatment used for most women. The only time it is less effective long-term is when women have larger ovarian arteries, allowing blood to flow more to the fibroid (Benenati 22). Technological advances have helped uterine fibroid embolization become even more effective and is becoming more simple in technique. When the technique was first introduced, standard sized catheters were used in the process within the arteries, creating spasms and pain in the vaginal area. Since then, micro-sized catheters are instead used, contouring more effectively with the body, eliminating the muscle contractions during this procedure and resulting in more satisfactory outcomes. New embolic agents used to dissolve the fibroid have also been developed. Previously, polyvinyl alcohol microspheres were used along with gelfoam. Now, embosphere, which is gel-like, has become the agent primarily used and results in minimal clumping of the blood and tissues and also creates a more long-term, if not permanent, result. The process itself includes standard preoperative procedures such as an MRI, to identify the fibroid location (ultrasounds may also be used) in addition to regular Pap smears. Extensive pain may be a result of uterine fibroid embolization and management of it can be used with basic anti-inflammatory medications. This less invasive procedure serves as an alternative to previously used hysterectomies and myomectomies and allows for women to continue to be able to bear children, having little affect on fertility but may up their candidacy for caesarean births. Since the discovery that uterine fibroid embolization can be used to treat these fibroids, it has become the more favored procedure. Statistically, women who have had the procedure done, have had excellent outcomes and their overall livelihood has improved. Other issues that have been evaluated in conjunction with uterine fibroid embolization is the issue of whether or not it could send women into early induced menopause. Their research has not supported that it contributes to early menopause, as women over 45 are more likely to carry on normally into menopause. According to this article, author James Benenati, MD, acknowledges that though this procedure has transpired from an experimental procedure into a standardized one, there have been two cases at the Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute that have had complications and have therefore resulted in hysterectomies. Contrary to the two unusual cases of all of the procedures that have been completed at his institute, steps are still being made to continue to ensure that the procedure becomes even better, as they are constantly working experimentally toward even less invasive, more effective techniques through evolving technology. Works Cited Benenati, James. “Uterine Fibroid Embolization.Radiology Today 10.4 (2009): 22. Print. Read More
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