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Uterine Fibroid Embolization Helps Postmenopausal Women

Bulk symptoms eased in 22 of 25 postmenopausal women after non-surgical procedure

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), already considered appropriate for premenopausal women, works to ease bulk symptoms in postmenopausal women who would otherwise be candidates for hysterectomy, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Toronto.

Howard B. Chrisman, M.D., of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, and colleagues assessed 25 postmenopausal women who underwent UFE between 2001 and 2004 for bulk-related symptoms at one, six, 12 and 24 months after the procedure.

Overall, 22 of 25 women (88 percent) experienced relief from bulk symptoms after an average follow-up of nine months. The procedure appeared to cause a mean decrease in uterine size of 36 percent, and the biggest fibroid shrank by a mean of 42 percent.

"UFE is a viable treatment option in carefully selected postmenopausal women with bulk symptoms related to fibroids and should be considered an alternative to hysterectomy," the authors write. Magnetic resonance imaging "should be used prior to therapy to exclude other pelvic pathology."

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