Nonsurgical Fibroid Treatment Deemed Safe
But Questions Remain About Long-Term Effectiveness
"We are only just now beginning to get five-year data on a very limited
number of (uterine embolization) patients."
Cowan says uterine embolization appears to be a good option for women who
aren't concerned about preserving fertility looking for a minimally invasive
treatment for symptoms associated with fibroids.
But all agree that the jury is still out on whether it is appropriate for
those who want the option of having children. Although pregnancies have
occurred in women who have had the embolization procedure, ACOG considers it
inadvisable in women wishing to retain their fertility. They state that
pregnancy outcomes remain understudied.
"The good news is that we do know that patients can become pregnant
after embolization, and it is certainly not anywhere near as final as having a
hysterectomy," Spies says. "But the role of embolization in the
treatment of women who want to preserve their fertility is not yet
Spies is confident that long-term data provided by the registry will answer
lingering questions about embolization.
"ACOG is rightly concerned about long-term outcomes, and by following
these women we will be able to address these concerns in a few years."