- Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the muscular portion of the uterus which may cause pain and heavy bleeding. Interventional radiologists are able to perform non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatments of uterine fibroids, called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization (UAE), using real-time imaging. In this procedure, the interventional radiologist makes a tiny nick in the skin in the groin and inserts a catheter into the femoral artery. The physician guides the catheter into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroid and then releases tiny particles through the catheter to occlude the blood supply of the tumor, causing it to shrink and die.
- Fibroid embolization typically requires a hospital stay of one night. On average, 85-90 percent of women who have had the procedure experience significant or total relief of heavy bleeding, pain and/or bulk-related symptoms. Recurrence of fibroids treated by UFE is very rare.
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- A condition caused by pooling of blood in the pelvic veins, possibly resulting in pelvic pain and lower extremity varicose veins. Interventional vein embolization is possible in some cases, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the ovaries and/or uterus.
- One cause of female infertility is the blockage or narrowing of the fallopian tubes through which eggs pass from the ovary to the uterus. This cause of infertility may be diagnosed using selective salpingography and treated by opening the narrowing using a minimally invasive device such as a balloon.
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“The philanthropist too often surrounds mankind with the remembrance of his own cast- off griefs as an atmosphere, and calls it sympathy. We should impart our courage, and not our despair, our health and ease, and not our disease, and take care that this does not spread by contagion.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)