Topics of Interest

Quality of Life after Fibroid Embolization

Long-term Quality-of-Life Assessment Among Patients Undergoing Uterine Fibroid Embolization.

Authors: Popovic M, Berzaczy D, Puchner S, Zadina A, Lammer J, Bucek RA.
Journal: American J Roentgenology. 2009;193:267-71.
Study from: Department of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, Medical University of Vienna

Problem: The first use of embolization to treat women with fibroids was performed in France in 1997, so the long-term effectiveness of the procedure is still being investigated. These authors wanted to see how patients they treated over the past 10 years have done with regards to their quality-of-life following UFE.

Study: All 53 women from an earlier publication of UFE were questioned about their quality-of-life and symptoms following the procedure. Thirty-nine women (75%) responded to the questionnaire.

Results: The average time since treatment was 7 years. Reduced bleeding was reported in 90% of the women, reduced pain in 79%, reduced bulk-related symptoms in 90%, reduced fatigue in 77%, reduced limitations of social life in 93%, and reduced depression in 79%. The general quality-of-life for these women improved significantly.

Six women (15.4%) had a hysterectomy at an average of 32 months after UFE. Thirty-two women (82%) were satisfied with UFE, and 30 patients (77%) said they would recommend uterine fibroid embolization to other women. The authors concluded that UFE seems to lead to significant long-term relief of fibroid-associated symptoms.

Dr. Parker’s Comments: Although this is a small number of women, and 14 of the original study patients did not respond to the survey, the long-term results are very reassuring. There was a high satisfaction rate reported by the women over the long follow-up period of 7 years. Only 15% of the women needed to have a hysterectomy after UFE (myomectomy following UFE was apparently not considered). One of the early questions about UFE was whether the results would last over time. I agree with the article that the answer is yes.


Disclaimer: The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained on this web site are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision.

One Comment

  1. Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I’m one of the uncommon cases where a UFE had little effect (it killed the fibroid, but it has not shrunk much). I’m having a laparoscopic myomectomy to remove it on July 27 and will be curious to see how that goes.

Fibroid Doctor William H. Parker

Dr. William H. Parker is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Parker is an internationally recognized expert in fibroid surgery and research. Based in San Diego, California, he is considered one of the best fibroid surgeons for abdominal and laparoscopic myomectomy in the United States and abroad. He has been chosen for Best Doctors in America and Top Doctors every year beginning in the late 90's.

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