While hysterectomy is an established solution for symptomatic uterine fibroids and may be the best alternative for some women, many women are uncomfortable with the idea of undergoing this highly invasive surgery that will result in the loss of their uterus. If you are one of these women and have expressed your concerns to your doctor, yet he/she has not informed you of alternatives to a hysterectomy which are available, don't give up. Here are some ways to help you get information about hysterectomy alternatives, including Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), also known as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), which may also be appropriate for you. Keep in mind, fibroids are not cancerous, so take the time to select the treatment that is best for you.
- Do your homework! Conduct research on the Internet or at the library on what other uterine fibroid treatments are appropriate for you; visit websites, such as BioSphere Medical's UFE patient website (www.ASK4UFE.com); the National Uterine Fibroid Foundation (www.nuff.org); or the Society of Interventional Radiology (www.sirweb.org) which has an entire section on uterine fibroid embolization. Or check out your hospital's website to see if it has information on alternatives to hysterectomy.
- Seek a second, third or fourth opinion. Obtain a complete copy of your medical records from your current OB/GYN and do not hesitate to discuss hysterectomy alternatives with other doctors. Keep talking until you are comfortable with what you hear. You and your doctor should both be satisfied with your treatment plan. You may want to talk to an interventional radiologist (IR), who is familiar with uterine fibroid embolization and how to identify if you are a candidate. Most IR's are accustomed to managing self-referred patients. If after an initial consultation with an IR you are not a candidate for UFE, then the IR is able to refer you to your OB/Gyn who is able to provide you with additional options. The IR can also provide you the name of an OB/Gyn if you currently do not have one.
- Talk to other women with uterine fibroids. Try to identify and speak with women who have had treatments other than hysterectomy for their uterine fibroids, to learn about their individual experiences. Discuss these other alternatives to a hysterectomy with your doctor so he/she knows you are aware of them and to see if you are a potential candidate. Many hospitals have Women's Health seminars that feature a variety of health topics. These are excellent forums to gain more information and to network with women who have similar clinical issues.
- Contact 877-ASK4UFE. We are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer basic questions about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). We are also able to provide you a list of IRs in your area, who can answer questions specific to your medical situation.
Get More Information:
Request a call back
Get an information packet
Locate a Physician near you