August 19, 2009 - Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment for women that cuts off blood flow to painful fibroids to kill the tumors, is highlighted as an appropriate treatment for women in a Clinical Therapeutics article in the Aug. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

According to Scott C. Goodwin, M.D., FSIR, an interventional radiologist who co-authored the journal article "Uterine Fibroid Embolization," UFE is a safe, effective and minimally invasive option for women to consider.

Interventional radiologists use magnetic resonance imaging (or MRI) to determine if fibroids can be appropriately embolized, detect possible alternate causes for the symptoms, rule out misdiagnosis, identify which treatments are best suited for each patient and avoid ineffective treatments. UFE blocks tiny blood vessels that feed fibroids, causing the tumor(s) to die and symptoms to subside. An interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a thin catheter to the uterine artery to treat the source of the disease internally, avoiding open surgery. The procedure offers less risk, less pain and a shorter recovery time compared to open surgery.

Goodwin noted that interventional radiologists can provide a second opinion and assess whether UFE is a treatment option.

Reference: "Uterine Fibroid Embolization," appears in the Aug. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was co-written by Scott C. Goodwin, M.D., FSIR, professor and chair of radiological sciences at the University of California at Irvine, and James B. Spies, M.D., M.P.H., FSIR, professor of radiology and chair of the radiology department at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Goodwin and Spies are SIR members; Goodwin is currently the SIR treasurer, and Spies is immediate past chair of SIR Foundation.

For more information: www.sirweb.org/

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