Updated 12/23/2012 05:00 AM
Healthy Living: Fibroid Embolization
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Uterine fibroids effect millions of women, side effects range from mild to debilitating.
"I was having a lot of pain a lot of hemorrhaging a lot of bleeding no energy,” said Fibroid Embolization patient Dianne Waldorf. Her fatigue and anemia were from a uterine fibroid the size of a baseball. Doctors suggested a hysterectomy but she did her research, she was a candidate for a Fibroid Embolization.
Dr. Gary Siskin, Interventional Radiologist, said, “Embolization is a procedure where we cut off the blood supply bringing the blood to a part of the body, by going in and plugging up the blood vessels technically to kill the part of the bloody that is supplied by the blood vessels."
Fibroids are often being but cause a variety of symptoms.
"Heavy bleeding on a monthly basis or pain, bloating, urinary symptom," said Dr. Siskin.
The procedure is done in the hospital. Using x-ray guidance, a catheter like this is inserted into the artery near the groin where a thick clotting substance is injected.
Dr. Siskin said, "Once that catheter is inside that vessel we can inject which will serve to plug up the artery and not allow blood to feed the fibroids."
Once the blood flow to the artery stops, the fibroid begins to slowly die off and disappear.
Waldorf said, “The procedure was very easy.”
Because this substance that is clotting, is inserted into an artery and there are so many arteries in the body, some patients may wonder if the doctor got the right one.
"The good news is that it has a fairly characteristic pattern so when a woman has fibroids, the arteries change and look a certain way that makes it apparent to us that we are in the right place,” said Dr. Siskin.
Dianne's fibroid is gone without having a hysterectomy and she's back to her old self.
"I lost a lot of weight. I joined the gym. I have such a quality of life, I enjoy my family," said Waldorf.