Popa, B.; Popiel, Monica; Gulie, L.
September 2009
Therapeutics, Pharmacology & Clinical Toxicology;2009, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p306
Academic Journal
Uterine leiomyoma, commonly known as fibroids, are extremely common benign lesions of the uterus, usually surgically managed when symptomatic. The surgical options (myomectomy or hysterectomy) are associated with significant morbidity in terms of increased blood loss, duration of surgery, postoperative complications and longer hospital stay. Another alternative treatment is hormonal therapy using gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists which are primarily used as temporary preoperative measure for reducing tumour size and vascularity. Though th is approach dramatically improves symptomatology and reduces fibroid size, these tumours re-grow to their original size with in a few month s of discontinuing treatment and are associated with adverse effects (osteoporosis, amenorrhea). Uterine artery embolization is one of the new treatment options presently available in major institutions as an alternative to hysterectomy in women wishing to preserve reproductive function. Embolization is a minimally invasive means of blocking the arteries th at supply blood to the fibroids. It is a procedure th at uses angiographic techniques to place a catheter into the uterine arteries. Small particles are injected into the arteries, which results in the blockage of the arteries feeding the fibroids. Uterine artery embolization is also cost-effective and is associated with a short hospital stay and may be an option in women with major medical illness. The following treatise addresses the selection of patients, contraindications, details of the procedure and available evidence with regard to safety and benefits of the procedure.


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