Uterine artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure often used to treat fibroid tumors. Small polyvinyl particles are injected into the uterine artery while the patient is under xray examination. The goal is to block the blood supply to the tumors so they eventually die off. The technique has been successful for small, single tumors and may be an option for some women. Unlike our Female Alternative Surgery, UAE is not recommended for patients hoping to maintain fertility. Many physicians are attempting to embolize larger and multiple tumors, creating the potential for damage to surrounding uterine muscle and eventual uterine abcess. This can necessitate hysterectomy. We do not recommend UAE for women with multiple or larger fibroids or those hoping to maintain fertility.
I recently had a patient in the office with very large fibroids…she had had two previous myomectomies with her gynecologist and she was wondering why her tumors had returned. Sadly, the recurrence rates for fibroid tumors following surgery can be as high as 60%…the well known fact is that most of these tumors have not grown back since surgery, but were never removed during the inital procedures. Fibroids that are deep in the uterine muscle are difficult to access without significant blood loss…as a result, many gyns will not remove the deeper tumors. This sets women up for multiple fibroid tumor surgeries. Our recurrence rates are approximately 2%, as we are able to remove all fibroids, regardless of size or location (submucosal, subserosal) employing vascular techniques that prevent bleeding. If you are considering a myomectomy ask your doctor about their success rates, in reference to minimizing the need for future surgery.
Soy products, like soybeans, soy milk, soy cheese, tofu, are all excellent sources of healthy plant protein. It is often recommended for women experiencing menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, dry vagina to consume soy to mitigate the symptoms. This is because soy imitates the hormone estrogen at the cellular receptor sites. The body feels better as it thinks its receiving an estrogen supply. Consequently, if you have any disease that is hormone dependent like endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroid tumors….these conditions can get worse as soy is consumed. We recommend women avoid soy products if they have been diagnosed with any of the above diseases.
This is a blood test often used for diagnosing ovarian cancer. However, because it is a “tumor marker” it can detect other abnormal tumor cells in the body. False positive results are common. We routinely see abnormal elevations when patients are diagnosed with Fibroid tumors, adenomyosis and endometriosis. If you get a result outside the normal range, this does not mean you have cancer…ask your Doctor about the outcome of other diagnostic tests performed.
Traditional medicine has routinely rcommended removal of the uterus, hysterectomy, for uterine and ovarian malignancy, however physicians also advocate hysterectomy for benign diseases like fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis. Recent studies (LA Times article, published August 10, 2009 entitled “Staying Fertile after Cancer”) on Stage 1 ovarian cancer patients have found that preserving the uterus and unaffected ovary have the same 5 year survival rates as removing all organs. If medicine is changing to reduce hysterectomies for certain cancers, lets hope they will eventually see the need to prevent hysterectomy for benign diseases as well.