Fibroids are benign growths of the uterus that can cause pain and bleeding, which is one of the most common reasons for a hysterectomy...surgery removing the uterus and get rid of the fibroids. One alternative to that surgery is something called uterine fibroid embolization.
Dr. Brian Breuning, a radiologist, explained that in our segment HealthWise at 5 Thursday. In the picture shown, the fibroids are those large white circles. In the procedure, a catheter is inserted in an artery in the leg...sending tiny plastic beads to the fibroids. The beads block the artery. So, without a blood supply, the fibroid gradually shrinks away.
"You can see a dramatic difference in the amount of bleeding, pressure and the amount of pain that you feel. It's not an overnight thing. It gradually occurs. But we see up to a 75% reduction in the size of the fibroids over 6 months," said Dr. Breuning.
Dr. Breuning says if you are considering a hysterectomy, talk to your doctor about options including this procedure, which would be done by a radiologist, instead of a surgeon.