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Uterine Fibroids Health Center

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Baby After Fibroid Procedure Possible

Alternative to Hysterectomy Preserves Fertility, Less Complications Than Surgery

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Interestingly, 13 of the 15 women had "a history of prior miscarriage -- one woman had nine prior miscarriages. Twelve of the women had no babies before the procedure," Pron says. That suggests that untreated fibroid disease may "impair fertility." Eighteen of the 19 pregnancies were "achieved without fertility treatments, one was achieved using in vitro fertilization," she says.

Even women who aren't planning families may be interested in UFE because the procedure has fewer complications then surgery and usually gets them out of the hospital and back to work much faster says James Spies, MD, professor of radiology at Georgetown University. He also presented current research at the radiology meeting,

Spies compared UFE to hysterectomy in women who had symptomatic fibroid disease. He says that 102 underwent UFE and 50 women had hysterectomies. Less than 28% of women who had UFE reported complications from the procedure while half of the women who had hysterectomies reported complications. But Spies says that in both groups "the complications were very minor."

He says that women who had UFE were out of the hospital in less than a day, compared to at least two days of hospitalization for women who had surgery. "And the women treated with UFE returned to work in just over 10 days compared to more than a month out of work for women who had hysterectomies," Spies says.

While he didn't look at fertility, Spies says he is not surprised that women can become pregnant after UFE.

John C. Lipman, MD, of the Center for Minimally Invasive Therapy in Atlanta, Ga., was not involved in either study but he agrees that UFE has several advantages over surgery. Lipman, who has a large UFE practice, also thinks that UFE has a positive effect on fertility, but he admits that is an "impression." He says that only further study can definitively answer the question. Until then "we have to rely upon results such as those from the Canadian study."

SOURCE: 28TH Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology. Abstract 12 and Abstract 501.

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