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Oh Baby, Interventional Radiology Makes Childbirth Safer
Date:3/10/2009

C-sections and "Invasive" Placenta Condition Can Result in Excessive Bleeding and Be Life Threatening for Mothers

SAN DIEGO, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Innovative, interventional radiology treatments are making childbirth safer for women who have C-sections that are complicated by massive bleeding and for those who suffer from the pregnancy condition of "invasive" placenta. The results of two studies detailing the effectiveness of minimally invasive treatments for pregnant women were released at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.

"Interventional radiology is making childbirth safer. Severe bleeding sometimes occurs either immediately after a C-section or up to several weeks after delivery. With embolization, interventional radiologists can block life-threatening bleeding immediately and effectively -- from the inside out," said Michael S. Stecker, M.D., interventional radiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass. Embolization is a well-established interventional radiology technique that blocks blood vessels, controlling hemorrhage. Interventional radiologists guide a catheter up a uterine artery using X-ray imaging. Once at the site of bleeding, clotting agents, such as tiny sponge-like gelfoam particles (the size of sand) or little metal coils, are released to block an injured vessel and stop the bleeding. "The women we treated tended to need fewer blood transfusions, had shorter hospital stays and did not have recurrence of the bleeding. All in all, our study shows that minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments can help control potentially life-threatening bleeding in women after C-sections with minimal complications," he added.

Similarly, interventional radiologists are making childbirth safer for women who suffer from a rare -- but increasingly frequent -- birth condition when a woman's placenta (attached both to the wall of the ut
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology
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