Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of uterus. They are seen in women around 30-40 years of age. Although fibroids are more common in African American women, women of all races are affected.
There may be a single large fibroid or multiple small to medium sized fibroids in uterus. Fibroids are most commonly located in the muscular wall of uterus which is sandwiched between inner and outer layers. However, some fibroids may be located on the inner lining of uterus causing more heavy periods and some on the outer layer causing more pressure on the surrounding structures of pelvis.
Fibroids may be completely asymptomatic and may be diagnosed on a routine examination of pelvis. When symptomatic, the symptoms depend upon their size and location. Common symptoms of fibroids include,
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Longer and heavier periods
- Menstrual pain and cramps
- Vaginal bleeding between periods
- Anemia, due to heavy bleeding
- Dull aching pain in lower abdomen and pelvis
- Painful intercourse
- Pressure symptoms
- Increased frequency of micturition
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
- Constipation due to pressure on rectum from a large fibroid
- Abdominal cramps
- Bulge in lower abdomen due to large fibroid
- Miscarriage and infertility
Diagnosis of uterine fibroids
- Ultrasound of pelvis
- MRI scan
Treatment of Fibroids
- Uterine artery embolization also known as uterine fibroid embolization or UFE.
At Premier vein and vascular center, we offer uterine artery embolization for treatment of fibroids. In this procedure the blood vessels supplying fibroids are targeted using small sand like particles. These particles block the blood flow to fibroids leading to shrinking and death of fibroids. The patients are usually observed overnight after the procedure and sent home the next day.