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Specialists in the Field of Myoma Embolization
Information About the Field of Myoma Embolization
What Is a Myoma?
A myoma is a benign tumor of the uterus. It forms in the uterus's muscle layer and is the most common benign tumor of the uterus. Like many other benign tumors, it is not life-threatening. It can cause symptoms that limit women's life quality because it grows and suppresses tissue. In many cases, myomas increase menstrual bleeding and cause its irregularity, and they can cause pain in the lower abdomen, the kidney area, and during sexual intercourse. Some patients also complain about frequent urination or constipation.
If no symptoms occur, a myoma does not need to be treated but should be checked regularly. Otherwise, there are various treatment options, such as myoma embolization. This minimally invasive treatment aims to locate the artery, supplying the myoma, and systematically blocking it. If the tumor is no longer supplied with blood, it shrinks very quickly and no longer causes any complaints.
The Process of Myoma Embolization
Myoma embolization is carried out in close cooperation with gynecologists and interventional radiologists during an inpatient hospital stay. The diameter, number, location, and blood flow of the myoma are determined by magnetic resonance imaging after detailed patient informing and thorough preliminary examinations.
During the treatment, a catheter is inserted into a leg artery under local anesthesia and pushed towards the uterus and into the blood vessel supplying the myoma under radiological monitoring. This catheter contains an active substance, so-called particles, which are released precisely into the vessel to seal it. This substance is a very well tolerated substance that is not recognized by the human body as a foreign body and, therefore, does not cause reactions. The particles remain in the vessel, the blood supply to the myoma dries up, which means that it is no longer supplied with nutrients and shrinks.
After the procedure, the patient should stay in bed for about 12 hours to allow the punctured artery to close. Intense abdominal pain and possibly nausea usually occur after the procedure, which requires the administration of painkillers and hospital monitoring. The problems typically reach a level comparable to menstrual pain after 1-2 days, and the patient can leave the clinic. The gynecologist carries out regular follow-up examinations.
When Is Myoma Embolization Possible?
Myoma embolization is not always possible. The myomas should not exceed a diameter of 12 cm. Myomas that are located outside the uterus and are only connected to it in a bridge-like way must be surgically removed. If the patient wishes to have a child, an alternative treatment is usually a better option. Pregnancies are quite possible after embolization, but reliable studies on the risks are not yet available. In any case, this topic should be discussed with the treating physician.
What Are the Risks?
Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, complications are infrequent. In a few cases, an infection of the abdomen may occur, but this can be treated very well with antibiotics. Besides, a temporary or permanent absence of menstruation has been observed, the second-mentioned one, only in patients about to enter menopause.
Up to a quarter of a year after treatment, the myoma may be ejected, which results in a bloody discharge and slight pain in the lower abdomen, which is unpleasant but not threatening.
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