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Q: What is fibroid embolization, and is it available on Maui?

If you suffer from fibroids, you're not alone. As many as half of all women of childbearing age have these non-cancerous growths, which can cause uncomfortable symptoms like pain and bleeding.

Uterine fibroid embolization is one treatment option, and many people don’t know that it is available at Maui Memorial Medical Center. This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a small catheter into the wrist or groin and injecting small particles into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids. These particles cause the fibroids to shrink.

There are several advantages to this procedure. First, it's far less invasive than surgical options for treating fibroids, including hysterectomy (the total removal of the uterus). It can also offer a more permanent solution than hormonal treatments, in which fibroids can grow back when treatment stops.

Most importantly, it's highly effective. Studies show as many as 90 percent of people who undergo this procedure see their fibroid-related symptoms improve or go away.

Fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done under local anesthetic. A radiologist performs the procedure and uses an X-ray camera to guide the catheter into position. Most patients can go home the same day.

However, this procedure may not be suitable for everyone. There can also be some side effects including cramping and discomfort for several days after the procedure. That is why it is important that you discuss your options with your doctor or schedule a consultation with a specialist.

And while in most cases, fibroids do not grow back after embolization, if they do, you may eventually need additional treatment, including hysterectomy.

The bottom line is that while uterine fibroids can cause uncomfortable and even painful symptoms, there are options for treatment. For many people, embolization is a safe and minimally-invasive option that can provide relief. If you have any questions about fibroid embolization, or would like to schedule a consultation, please call Maui Memorial Medical Center Imaging Department at 808-243-3012.

Nathanael Sabbah, MD

Interventional Radiology

Renaissance Imaging Medical Associates, Inc.
18436 Roscoe Blvd
Northridge, CA 91328