Uterine fibroids are a very common health condition. These are growths on the uterus that can range from being so small that they aren’t visible to the naked eye to the size of a grapefruit.
Why People Seek Treatment for Fibroids
For some people, fibroids cause no problems, but for others, they can often lead to symptoms that affect their quality of life, leading people to seek treatment.
Symptoms of fibroids can include:
- Persistent pain in the abdomen and lower back.
- Pelvic pressure, pain, or cramping.
- Heavy bleeding and bleeding between periods.
- Painful intercourse.
- Frequent urination.
- Abdominal swelling or distension.
Some people choose a “watch and wait” strategy with fibroids if they have minor symptoms. But because symptoms of fibroids can be disruptive and frustrating, many people choose to seek treatment for them.
Before you can seek treatment for fibroids, a proper diagnosis from an expert is needed. Dr. Ali Golshan reviews each patient’s medical history and symptoms, and we use diagnostic tools such as imaging tests, like ultrasounds and MRIs.
Fibroid Treatment Options
Medications can sometimes be used to manage symptoms of fibroids. Medications used for uterine fibroid treatment are those that regulate the menstrual cycle, which can help relieve pelvic pressure and heavy bleeding. Medications, however, can’t shrink or eliminate fibroids.
Some people treat fibroids with surgery, including myomectomy or hysterectomy. A myomectomy is the surgical removal of fibroids. This procedure keeps the uterus intact. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the entire uterus.
One of the current most popular treatment methods for fibroids is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) because it carries the benefits of being a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment option. UFE allows for the preservation of the uterus and carries the risk of fewer complications than with surgery, as well as a reduced recovery time. Nine out of every 10 women who use UFE to treat fibroids have significant improvement in their symptoms.
Embolization for Fibroids
How Embolization Works
When uterine fibroid embolization is performed, a small catheter is inserted into an artery near the fibroid’s blood supply. The catheter insertion usually occurs in the upper thigh. Special imaging guidance is used to ensure precise treatment.
The catheter is used to release tiny particles that block the blood vessels supplying blood to the fibroid. When the fibroid is starved of nutrients due to a lack of blood supply, it can’t survive. Multiple fibroids, and fibroids of varying sizes, can be treated with UFE.
How Long Embolization Takes to Work
Each person is different, but it usually takes about two to three months after embolization for uterine fibroids to begin shrinking. When this happens, symptoms should start improving as well. Fibroids will continue to shrink over time, with symptoms also getting better over time.
Because each person’s body is different and fibroids can range dramatically in size, how long it takes for fibroids to go away after embolization can vary. Some people report relief by the very next menstrual cycle, while others take longer than three months to begin to see a change. Regardless, most of the fibroid shrinkage from UFE will take place within six months after the original procedure.
After the original UFE procedure, you’ll have a consultation with Dr. Golshan, including imaging to determine how the fibroids are shrinking. UFE won’t make fibroids disappear entirely, however, it is so effective at shrinking them, that they usually become small enough that all symptoms will disappear.
Tracking your symptoms in a journal or a log is a good way to help your doctor assess how well UFE treatment is working since symptoms will change and improve as fibroids shrink. The majority of patients see long-lasting relief from fibroids after UFE.
Schedule a Consultation With a UFE Expert!
Dr. Ali Golshan of Beach Wellness MD is a vascular expert who performs more than 1,000 procedures every year. He is experienced in uterine fibroid embolization and has helped many women find lasting relief from fibroids.
If you have symptoms of uterine fibroids, consult Beach Wellness MD to learn about your options for noninvasive uterine fibroid embolization.
Call the office at (310) 620-1851 or request a consultation online.
ABOUT DR. ALI GOLSHAN
Ali Golshan, MD, is a double board-certified leading vascular expert who specializes in in-office, minimally-invasive interventional radiology treatments at Beach Wellness MD. Dr. Golshan devotes personalized attention to each patient to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Dr. Golshan graduated summa cum laude as valedictorian from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology. He then earned a Master of Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Doctorate of Medicine from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Golshan completed a residency in radiology at UCLA and a fellowship in interventional radiology at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.