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Fibroid Embolization Offers Long-Term Symptom Relief

At three years, women report normal quality-of-life scores; less than 10 percent had hysterectomy

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Uterine artery embolization for fibroids provides lasting improvements in women's quality of life, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Scott C. Goodwin, M.D., of the School of Medicine at the University of California at Irvine, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,278 women who underwent uterine artery embolization for leiomyomata, which occurs in at least half of American women of reproductive age. Primary outcome measures were symptom and health-related quality-of-life scores on a questionnaire.

At the three-year follow-up point, mean symptom scores and quality-of-life scores had both improved by more than 41 points, which moved participants into the normal range on the questionnaire. Estimates for further surgical care during the three years of the study were 9.79 percent for hysterectomy, 2.82 percent for myomectomy and 1.83 percent for repeat embolization.

"At three years after treatment, uterine embolization appears to be a safe, effective and durable treatment in a variety of practice settings, with substantial improvement in symptoms and quality of life for the large majority of patients. These positive outcomes after uterine artery embolization are consistent with prior reports and suggest that these results are achievable when the procedure is performed in any experienced community or academic interventional radiology practice," the authors write.

The study was funded by the Society for Interventional Radiology Foundation through unrestricted grants from Biosphere Medical and Boston Scientific. Goodwin is a former consultant for both companies and a co-author has worked as a consultant and received research support from both.

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