As many as 70% of women will develop noncancerous tumors in the uterus known as fibroids during their reproductive years. Often these growths will cause no symptoms, but when they do they can include heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, and pelvic pain.
If you’re suffering from symptomatic fibroids, VasCare can treat them with a minimally invasive outpatient procedure known as UFE. Performed by our resident fibroid specialist Dr. Lee, UFE is an alternative to a hysterectomy or myomectomy and keeps your uterus intact.
With our state-of-the-art facilities and radial access technique for faster recovery, we are the only outpatient UFE practitioners in Corpus Christi.
Chronic uterine pain, even if it’s not severe, could be a sign of uterine fibroids. In addition to pain, you may experience it as feeling bloated or having lower back pain.
Abnormally heavy or long periods are one of the leading symptoms of uterine fibroids. Are you soaking through more than one pad or tampon every hour?
Uterine fibroids can be the cause of painful intercourse. Pain can be around the entrance of the vagina or deeper inside depending on the location of the fibroids.
Check the warning signs: See more fibroids symptoms
Short for Uterine Fibroid Embolization, UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that does not damage your uterus. UFE works by blocking the blood flow (embolization) to the fibroids, which cuts off their oxygen and nutrients and forces them to shrink.
Three fibroids treatments compared: UFE vs Myomectomy vs Hysterectomy
In the procedure, the radiologist uses x-ray assistance to guide a thin catheter into the artery through a tiny incision. Once the embolizing agents are released, they float downstream to the area of the fibroids and block the small blood vessels that are feeding them.
UFE is also an indicated treatment for adenomyosis—when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) grows into the muscular walls of the uterus (myometrium). This abnormal tissue leads to heavy menstrual bleeding during each menstrual cycle. When treating adenomyosis, UFE blocks blood flow to the abnormal tissue, causing it to shrink and die.
At your initial appointment, the doctor will…
We encourage patients to bring a spouse or other loved one to join the consultation. We do not do invasive gynecological exams.
As a fibroid clinic, VasCare is proud to have one of the foremost women’s health experts in the country at the helm in Dr. Llewellyn Lee, our Chief Medical Officer and Director of Interventional Radiology. Dr. Lee has over 20 years of experience as an interventional radiologist and has successfully treated thousands of fibroid patients with no major complications.
A nationally recognized leader in UFE, Dr. Lee has helped develop devices used in embolization and has even personally trained other physicians in the procedure.
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are growths of muscle and connective tissue in or on the uterus. They are typically noncancerous and in fact almost never develop into cancer. You may have a single fibroid or multiple ones in a cluster, ranging in size from a fraction of an inch each to 8 inches or more.
Although the exact causes aren’t known, risk factors for fibroids include:
Typical signs of fibroids include:
Learn more about the symptoms of fibroids.
In many instances of fibroids, no treatment is necessary and the fibroids will shrink after menopause. However, if they’re causing you pain or other problems, you should seek treatment.
Pelvic exams often reveal the presence of fibroids, which are then confirmed with ultrasound or MRI. Special tests such as a hysteroscopy or hysterosonogram may also be used to identify fibroids if painful symptoms or infertility can’t be explained by typical methods.
No, fibroids are benign tumors. In only roughly 1 out of 1,000 patients will they become cancerous.
In rare cases, women can develop fibroids after experiencing menopause. It’s not yet understood why this happens, although links to hormone replacement therapy and obesity have been noted. Nevertheless, the symptoms of postmenopausal fibroids will be much milder or even non-existent compared to fibroids developed prior to menopause.
UFE may be appropriate in certain cases of symptomatic uterine fibroids after menopause.