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Embolization? Embolization?

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Unread 02-02-2002, 02:38 PM

You are right 3ravens--mine is covered with blood vessels. I am due to donate two pints of my blood--one this week and one next week just in case. Something to consider.
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Unread 02-04-2002, 05:44 AM

ALL fibroids are vascular, and many women lose a significant amount of blood during surgery with no ill effects whatsoever. The standard on blood transfusions has changed significantly over the years. Ask your doctor is donating blood is actually necessary. I lost a lot of blood during a TAH, and expected to. Years ago I would have been transfused, but not today. My recovery was very easy.
Unread 02-04-2002, 07:26 AM

My dr told me it's not an option with her, she doesn't allow her patients to donate their own blood, because usually they have low blood counts to begin and she wants their tanks to be as full as possible. She has me taking 150mg of iron 3x day to get ready for surgery (ack, that's tomorrow!)
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Unread 02-04-2002, 08:03 AM


Your doctor is correct on both counts. Good luck tomorrow!
Unread 02-04-2002, 11:42 AM


Thank you!
Unread 02-04-2002, 04:08 PM

Medscape, originally established for continuing medical education for doctors is a good source of information. They have a reasonably good article on fibroids and when what decision is good:

They say that "Uterine fibroids are particularly common in African American women, with an estimated prevalence of 50% to 75%. These women are also more likely to have severe pain, anemia, and larger and more numerous fibroids than women in other population groups."

Of course African-American women are only 11% of the female population, so more fibroids occur totally among other groups, but the rate of fibroids among African-American women is far higher. Caucasian women have a rate around 25% So I think it's reasonable to see the new doctor--and most of all if she's nice!

Uterine artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure--it is not major surgery in any medical use of the term that I could find. Some doctors even refer to it as "nonsurgical"

This site explains exactly what it is, the complications, the success, rates and when it is appropriate.


If you want the gory doctor's version:

Serious complications are less than 4% of patients. Unlike the rates for hysterectomy--which, depending on the procedure, run toward 20%. The patient's symptoms are significantly improved or gone in 80% to 90% of women who have it. The long-term outcome isn't known since it's a relatively new procedure and the studies haven't been done on it.

UAE is not the same at all as a myomectomy, which is an older procedure and is more invasive--though still not close to a hysterectomy. For example, myomectomies are done under local anesthesia. Given the risks of general anesthesia, right there they are safer. A decently accessible site is at


If you look at the surgical techniques for various hysterectomies, you'll see that much more is taking place.

Things are sliced, ligaments are cut and sutured, intestines are manipulated, blood loss is high as surgeries go, anesthesia is general. If it's Total, the risks of bladder and urethral injuries are higher.

There are also good links through www.adhesions.org to all the kinds of abdominal treatments.

I of course had none of these choices. If I did, I'd definitely try a UAE over hysterectomy. Myomectomy, I think would be a trickier question.

Hope everything goes well with your second opinion!

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