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Can You Get Equal Results From Less Invasive Treatment of Uterine Fibroids?

Posted on March 31, 2024

There are several options to explore for the treatment of uterine fibroids. But recent studies show that less invasive Uterine Fibroid Embolization is equally as effective as myomectomy surgery for fibroid relief!

Now, many women think that surgically removing the uterus via hysterectomy is the only way to relieve their symptoms of fibroids. But, as it turns out, both Uterine Fibroid Embolization and Myomectomy can provide relief.

Dr. Carlson talking with patient before treatment

Less Invasive Treatment of Uterine Fibroids: UFE vs Myomectomy

Minimally invasive UFE shrinks fibroids by cutting off blood flow to the tumors. In contrast, a myomectomy surgically removes individual tumors, making this a procedure that comes with more risks for complications, especially if performed as an open surgery, according to new research. Still, some women choose myomectomy over UFE is they want to become pregnant after fibroid treatment.

Fibroid Surgery vs UFE: Sucess by the Numbers

The FEMME study spent 7 years following 950 women with fibroids for several years. Half the participants had UFE, and half chose myomectomy for treatment of uterine fibroids. Here's what they learned: both procedures effectively reduced heavy bleeding in almost equal measure. And, when it came to follow up treatments, 9.9% of women who had myomectomy needed further treatment, while that was only true for 8.6% of women who had UFE group. Plus, 2.9% of women who chose myomectomy experienced post-procedural complications, versus only 1.1% of women who underwent UFE. As such, lead researcher Dr. Jemianne Bautista-Jia concluded, "The two treatments were comparably effective [and] UFE resulted in more favorable outcomes."

Now, that was not just true for early follow ups. 36 months after their procedures, women who chose myomectomy saw a greater decrease in the size of their largest tumor. However, the women who underwent UFE experienced greater reductions in the size of their enlarged uterus. Even better news for UFE patients? 29% of myomectomy patients needed a follow-up procedure for the treatment of uterine fibroids, compared to just 24% of women who chose UFE. Plus, twelve of the women who chose UFE reported on their healthy pregnancies, compared to just six women who selected myomectomy.

Clearly, there is a lot to think about when choosing how to treat your fibroids. But if UFE is one of the options you're considering, we're here to help you learn more about this procedure. Click here to request an appointment with our fibroid experts in Dallas!

Sources: Contemporary OBGYN

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