Uterine Artery Embolization in India

Last Modified: June 7, 2019  |   Created on: June 7, 2019
Gynecology, Radiology

What is Uterine Artery Embolization?

Uterine Artery Embolization is a non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids and other cases of obstetric problems like adenomyosis and postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). The procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, who uses imaging techniques like fluoroscopy to guide the thin tube (catheter) into the uterine arteries that carry blood to the fibroid. Small particles (special embolic agents) are injected into these uterine arteries. The goal is to shrink the non-cancerous fibroid tumours by blocking their blood supply, thereby effectively starving them.

What is the cost of Uterine Artery Embolization in India?

The Uterine Artery Embolization cost in India varies between USD 2500-3000.
The total cost depends on several factors like: 

  • Location of the chosen hospital, 
  • Profile of the hospital, 
  • Surgeon’s experience, 
  • Room category
  • Number and size of fibroids, 
  • Doses of medications, 
  • Additional complications, (if any)

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About uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tumours that develop in the smooth muscles of the uterus. They are also known as leiomyoma or myoma and are the most common benign tumour in the pelvis of women. They may vary in sizes, numbers and location. They can be very small, even microscopic, or may grow very large over time. There can be only one fibroid at a time, but they are often found to be many in number. Fibroids can weigh several pounds or kilograms.
Almost 50% of the women with uterine fibroids have severe symptoms that can affect their quality of life and day-to-day activities like: 

  • Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding, 
  • Pain in the pelvis, 
  • Abdominal cramps, 
  • Pain during sexual intercourse, 
  • Pressure on pelvis and urinary bladder, urinary frequency or constipation, 
  • Large fibroid can cause an enlargement of the lower abdomen, 

Uterine fibroids have also been associated with infertility issues as these cause structural distortion of the uterus and other reproductive parts.

Different treatment options are available for managing the fibroids. The commonly used surgical methods of treatment are hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or myomectomy (removal of the fibroid alone).
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a well-established non-surgical procedure, which have fewer complications compared to surgical procedures and lesser chances of recurrence of fibroids.

Diagnosis of uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids can be found during a pelvic exam, during which an enlarged, mobile, irregular uterus is usually detected. The doctor suggests following test for confirmation:

  • Ultrasound: Usually an ultrasound is the first imaging test to diagnose fibroids by analysing the insides of the vagina. 
  • MRI: This helps in evaluating the size, number, and location of the fibroids. 
  • Hysteroscopy: It is a surgical procedure performed for direct visualization of the uterine cavity but not outside the cavity. 
  • Laparoscopy: This test enables the doctor to see the fibroid developing on the outside wall of the uterus. A thin tube, called a laparoscope, is inserted through a small incision made on the lower abdomen during this procedure.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting treatment for Uterine Artery Embolization in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Who is a suitable candidate for Uterine Artery Embolization?

The candidates who are recommended for Uterine Fibroid Embolization show indications of the following:

  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding (Menorrhagia)
  • Pain in the pelvic region and discomfort
  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Severe dysmenorrhea or painful camping during menstruation
  • Pressure on the bladder or rectum
  • Frequent urination or urinary retention
  • Anaemia due to excessive bleeding. 

What are the contraindications for Uterine Artery Embolization?

Certain contraindications can prevent one from having Uterine Artery Embolization, like pregnancy, infection in the uterus, and malignancy in uterus or cervix. Other reasons to avoid this procedure include a delayed allergic reaction to the contrast material, certain vascular diseases, renal impairment, etc.
The technique is applicable to single and multiple fibroids in different locations – submucosal, intramural, subserosal. Earlier the procedure was preferred for treating smaller fibroids but now larger fibroids are also being treated as effectively by Uterine Artery Embolization. 

How is Uterine Artery Embolization performed?

  • An interventional radiologist performs Uterine Artery Embolization as an out-patient procedure in a catheterization lab or OT. It takes around 60 min – 90 min to perform. 
  • The patient is settled on an operating table and a mild sedative is administered.
  • The procedure is conducted under sterile conditions and an antiseptic solution is used to clean the groin area for the procedure. 
  • Then the patient is given a local anaesthesia to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted.
  • The interventional radiologist makes a small incision over the femoral artery over the groin. The catheter tube is inserted into this artery and a contrast fluid containing iodine is injected to map the location of the fibroid on a monitor. 
  • Using X-ray image guidance (fluoroscopy), the uterus arteries that supply blood to the fibroid are identified and small particles made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) or gelatine are injected into these blood vessels. 
  • The catheter is then taken out and pressure is applied to control the bleeding as no sutures are required.
  • The embolic agents leads to formation of a clot in the blood vessels and the blood supply to the fibroids is blocked, causing them to starts to shrink and soften, and eventually die. This results in improvement in symptoms like excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic and back pain, pressure on urinary bladder etc.

What to expect after the Uterine Artery Embolization procedure?

The patient is kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Pain medication and antibiotics are administered after the procedure. They are asked to lie flat for few hours to prevent pooling of blood.

Pelvic cramps may occur over the next 24 hours or a few days after the procedure and gets resolved within few days. Painkillers and antibiotics are prescribed by the doctor. 

Vaginal bleeding can occur for a few weeks after the procedure as remnants of the shrunk fibroids passes out through vagina. Women are encouraged to monitor for complications such as vaginal discharge and symptoms of infection. The gynecologist must be consulted for further information.
Post-embolization syndrome is common and causes loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, and low-grade fever. It is experienced majorly 48 hours after the procedure and usually resolves within one week. Medications may be used to manage the symptoms.

The complications and risks associated with Uterine Artery Embolization 

Although the minimally invasive techniques like Uterine Artery Embolization are becoming highly popular among women, they also have their own complications and limitations. Possible complications include: 

  • Infection or septicaemia, 
  • njury to the uterus or to the artery used, 
  • Bruising or collection of blood at puncture site, 
  • Permanent amenorrhea – especially in women of older age (45 and above) may have early menopause, 
  • Urinary tract infection, 
  • Although many women after the procedure have had successful pregnancies, the procedure is generally not recommended for women who wish to get pregnant in the future.

What is the success rate for Uterine Artery Embolization? 

Uterine Artery Embolization is a safe and effective method of treating uterine fibroids with a success rate of 90%. The results show significant improvement with the symptoms and considerable reduction in fibroid size. The patient satisfaction rate for UAE is also high as patients are able to return to their normal activities after resolution of the fibroid related symptoms. 

Why choose Uterine Artery Embolization over surgical procedures?

Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) Surgery (Hysterectomy or Myomectomy)
Minimally invasive technique Open surgical procedures
Minimal hospital stay (out-patient procedure) Duration of hospital stay is longer: 2-3 days
Recovery period is short One can resume normal activities earlier compared to that in the surgery The surgical wound takes time to heal hence the recovery is slower
Local anaesthesia and a mild sedative is used during the procedure Procedure is performed under General Anaesthesia
Lesser risks and complications There are surgery related risks
Uterus remains intact and the hormones are not affected Complete uterus is removed during hysterectomy which affects hormone levels
Pregnancy is possible in the future No chances of future pregnancy
Safe and effective method with long-term satisfaction in majority of the treated women Safe and effective methods for absolute removal of fibroids

Top Hospitals for Uterine Artery Embolization Treatment in India

The top hospitals in India are world-class medical facilities, offering excellent healthcare services in all disciplines. With exemplary combination of state-of-the-art infrastructure, cutting-edge technology and internationally reputed doctors, Indian hospitals have a global mark in Healthcare industry. These hospitals are accredited by various national and international organizations for maintaining the high standards of quality and stringent safety management. Some of the best hospitals for uterine artery embolization are:

Top Doctors for Uterine Artery Embolization Treatment in India

The interventional radiologists and gynaecologist in India are highly qualified and trained specialists. They have extensive and rich experience in the field and have treated numerous cases of fibroids and other obstetric problems. The doctors who perform uterine fibroid embolization in India are acknowledged experts in the field of interventional radiology and are internationally recognized for their work.
The top interventional radiologists in India for uterine artery embolization are:

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Last Modified: June 7, 2019  |   Created on: June 7, 2019
Gynecology, Radiology
Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is well-versed and knowledgeable in topics of science and medicine, and has worked under brilliant scientist during her higher education. She has obtained her degrees in Masters and Bachelors in Science - Microbiology (with Hons. ) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founder of Lyfboat and a doctor with renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.
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