Uterine fibroids are a common, non-cancerous tumor that affects nearly 75 percent of all women. Fibroids form on the smooth muscular wall of the uterus and can range is size from a small pea to larger than a cantaloupe.
Fortunately, uterine fibroids are easily diagnosed through a regular exam. Patients with fibroid tumors should be aware of the different treatment options.
Women considering surgical treatment should visit Bingham Memorial’s Interventional Radiologist, Dr. David Shelley. He works with many local gynecologists to offer alternative treatments for these common tumors.
Symptoms of uterine fibroids usually include heavy bleeding, painful periods, frequent urination, and pain in the lower back, pelvis and legs.
Traditional treatment for uterine fibroids ranges from extensive hormone therapy to a hysterectomy.
Now, through the use of Interventional Radiology, Dr. Shelley can treat them with a minimally invasive procedure called embolization.
Embolization can relieve symptoms without radical surgery. Dr. Shelley makes a tiny incision in one of the main arteries in the leg and inserts a catheter. Using real time imaging, the he guides the catheter to the fibroid. Tiny particles are released from the catheter to block the blood supply to the fibroid tumor. This blockage causes the tumor to shrink and die.
This procedure has a short recovery time and relieves the painful symptoms of uterine fibroids without having to undergo major surgery. It is a safe, proven method that has significant advantages over the traditional hysterectomy.
Dr. Shelley encourages women to schedule regular appointments with their gynecologist or family physician. He also advises patients to speak with their doctor about all of the options they have before undergoing surgery.