EMBOLIZATION OR HYSTRECTOMY?
ANCHOR LEAD: HOW ARE UTERINE FIBROIDS BEST TREATED? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pain. They may also complicate pregnancy, and are extremely common. A recent study compared two techniques for their treatment: uterine artery embolization, where the blood supply is cut off, and removal of the uterus, or hysterectomy. John Griffith, an expert in the treatment of fibroids at Johns Hopkins, says embolization, or cutting off the blood supply, works well.
GRIFFITH: I use this technique quite a bit for my patients, particularly those who don’t desire future childbearing. I think the embolization is less invasive, less risky, and I think basically patients segregate along the lines of whether they want to go ahead and have surgery to remove the fibroids, that’s called a myomectomy, or a hysterectomy, or they don’t. The tricky thing is in a younger woman with fibroids who had not yet had kids then sometimes there’s less information that’s available right now for childbearing after the uterine artery embolization. :31
Griffith says each woman must be evaluated individually to assess her best choice. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.