Geek’s 2007 SIR Abstract Report: Comparison of Partial to Complete Uterine Fibroid Embolization

The Society of Interventional Radiology held its 32nd annual Scientific Meeting from March 1 – March 6, 2007. Multiple abstracts and posters were presented. I’ll try my best to discuss as many of the fibroid-related ones as I can. Yes, this is (hopefully) the first in a series of very geeky reports.

A Prospective Randomized Comparison of Partial to Complete Uterine Fibroid Embolization

L. Machan, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada · M. Eddy · B. Sanders

The authors wanted to determine if the endpoint of embolization (partial vs. complete) affected UFE outcome.

136 women were randomized into two groups (partial or complete). For complete UFE, particles were injected until there was a complete lack of blood flow in the uterine artery (stasis) as seen with fluoroscopic imaging. For partial, particles were injected until fibroid parenchymal blush was no longer visible with fluoroscopic imaging. Follow-up was at six weeks, three months, six months, and at six month intervals up to three years. Final follow-up was at four years.

Results and Conclusions:
No significant difference. Similar outcomes were reported for complete or partial embolization. Decrease in volume for both the dominant fibroid and total uterine volume were comparable. General well-being reported at one year (87.5%) and four years (partial:75.6%, complete:79.3%) were also similar.

UFE with PVA particles results in similar outcomes whether complete or partial embolization is performed. Excellent subjective and objective patient outcomes and a high degree of patient satisfaction were achieved in both groups. Although objective measures of overall well being fell slightly with time, patients remain highly satisfied with UFE after 4 years.

What’s the significance?

Because partial embolization is thought to result in fewer complications, a lower level of pain, and have less of an effect on sexual function and fertility, studies showing statistically equal effectiveness between partial UFE and complete UFE are important. Although preliminary, these results are an exciting step towards fine-tuning an already elegant procedure.

To view the abstract as it was presented at the meeting, visit this Abstract Presentation page and click Uterine Fibroid: Outcomes. There you will find a list of several abstracts including this one.

For more information:
Treating Uterine Fibroid Tumors | Fibroid Embolization
Surgical Video of Uterine Fibroid Embolization (
What to Expect from a Uterine Artery Embolization

Let’s hear your questions or thoughts on this abstract – A Prospective Randomized Comparison of Partial to Complete Uterine Fibroid Embolization.


Related Posts:
How are you feeling after your Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Geek’s 2007 SIR Abstract Report 2: Post-Embolization Syndrome: Leukocytosis after Uterine Artery Embolization


4 Responses to “Geek’s 2007 SIR Abstract Report: Comparison of Partial to Complete Uterine Fibroid Embolization”

  1. Aly Fibroids Says:

    Eclectic: Those abstracts are great! They even have one on the post-embolization syndrome. My body responding to the procedure! Leukocytosis — elevated white blood cell counts in response to the toxins the fibroids released while degenerating! (I still like the crop circles and Stone Henge theories, though).

    HEY, by the way, check out my post-UFE measurements under [“How are you feeling after your Uterine Fibroid Embolization”] — I also posted it under your doctor being Batman or Mighty Mouse (or somewhere like that).

    [Edited by EclecticGeek to add link.]

  2. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hey Aly!

    Yeah, I know! I plan on doing a little report on all of the abstracts. They are really interesting. I did this one first because I think it was the featured abstract in its category.

    UFE does have predictable outcomes. I found that out concretely when my IR initially passed on my case until I had two small submucosal fibroids removed. He looked at my images and felt those two would cause problems post-embolization. So, no UFE until those two were resected. I know nothing comes with a 100% guarantee. With any treatment comes risk but this is a valid procedure with a high rate of success. I’m sorry you fell on the far end of that bell curve as far as your complications. I know it wasn’t easy but I’m truly happy about the success in your case.

    I saw your measurements on the page I wrote about my 6-month post-UFE follow-up visit with my IR. (That would be Batman. Mighty Mouse is my GYN). I added a huge “YAAAAAY!!!” and this face :mrgreen: for your shrinkage!

  3. Moe Moe Frost Says:

    this is a godsend I thought I was the only one going through all this masive clots 21 days bleeding I am scheduled for UFE Thursday but am not sure type partial or complete. they madeit seem it would be like a walk in the park. Not sure what type of fibroids I had only know there were three one 7 cm and the other about 2 i each about 1 cm in size. Does anyone have any specific questions I shouuld ask? What should I expect?

  4. EclecticGeek Says:

    Hi Moe Moe,

    The clots can be pretty bad. My clots reminded me of some sort of horror movie from the 1950s.

    I have a page that lists general questions to ask fibroid doctors:

    What questions should I ask my fibroid doctor?

    Specific questions for this procedure:
    1. How will they manage your pain after the procedure?
    2. If pain medication makes you sick to your stomach, how will they manage your nausea?
    3. When is your follow-up appointment? (I had two separate appointments 2 weeks after my procedure. One with my GYN and one with my IR.)
    4. What is the best way to reach the doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your UFE?

    Quick note: You have to take into consideration the size, location, and number of fibroids in your case. This will determine the success of your UFE and the recovery you experience afterwards. The fibroid shrinking process occurs over a period of time. The risk of complication is low but as with ANY treatment, there is a risk. Once again, I’ll mention scheduling follow-up care and getting a contact number for your doctor. My recovery was positive but it’s good to be prepared.

    I have lots of pages here where I described my UFE adventure but in a nutshell…

    My experience:
    Intense pain and nausea during the first 12 hours. The pain right after my procedure wasn’t much worse than the previous cramps I experienced every month. It really was the nausea from the drugs that made me feel worse. By the next day, I was listening to Bob Marley and feeling great! I did not experience very much pain later.

    My recovery:
    * Moderate cramps for a couple of days afterward. I took over-the-counter Motrin.
    * Vaginal discharge for about 10 days. Mostly mucus-like but some blood was present. Moderate to light.
    * Digestive problems for about a week. Could not eat solid food. Constipation and stomach pain.

    Constipation (from the hospital drugs) was my biggest problem. My recovery fell within the “7-to-10-day” window.

    First period post-UFE:
    A 3-day period with light bleeding. Previous periods were 7 days with gushing blood and huge clots. I had never had short, light periods…EVER. This was completely different.

    Now: (about 9 months post-UFE)
    I have 4-day periods. I spot on days 1 and 4. Light-to-moderate bleeding on days 2 and 3. I can now go out in the world and live my life without constantly thinking about fibroids and clots and blood. I feel like a totally different person. Full of energy and half my age.

    Best wishes with your procedure. Let me know if you have other questions.

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