Study finds the first is less invasive, has faster recovery
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women with fibroids face a myriad of choices for treatment, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, which can make it difficult to choose the right procedure.
Now, a new study helps define the choice between at least two options -- uterine artery embolization (UAE) and hysterectomy. After two years of follow-up, the study, published in the March issue of Radiology, found that women who had UAE reported an equal quality of life compared to women who'd had a hysterectomy.
"Both UAE and hysterectomy improved health-related quality of life," wrote the Dutch researchers, who added that they believe UAE is a good alternative to hysterectomy.
"UAE does offer a decreased hospital stay, quicker recovery and less morbidity," added Dr. William Romano, an interventional radiologist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
As many as one in four women have fibroids that cause symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain and reproductive problems, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Common treatment options include hysterectomy, myomectomy (surgical removal of individual fibroids), UAE, and endometrial ablation, a procedure in which the endometrial lining of the uterus is destroyed. In UAE, two catheters are placed in the uterine arteries, and small particles are injected that block the flow of blood supply to the fibroids. Women who wish to retain their fertility cannot choose hysterectomy, UAE or endometrial ablation.
For the study, 177 women with fibroids and troubling symptoms who had originally planned to have hysterectomies agreed to participate in a randomized trial comparing UAE to hysterectomy.
The researchers then followed the women's health for two years and assessed health-related quality of life at six different times. T
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