Pre-myomectomy uterine artery embolisation minimises operative blood loss


Dr I. Manyonda, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust, Blackshaw Road, London, SW17 0QT, UK.


Women with massive fibroids (extending beyond the level of the umbilicus) are conventionally offered a hysterectomy, rather than myomectomy, which is considered too technically challenging, with risks of excessive haemorrhage. Some women desire fertility, or may simply wish to preserve their uterus. Uterine artery embolisation is a relatively new treatment for fibroids, and complication rates are thought to be high with massive fibroids. We have performed uterine artery embolisation immediately prior to myomectomy, and found a reduction in blood loss. Uterine artery embolisation may be a useful adjunct to surgery in women with massive fibroids or for whom uterine artery embolisation alone is considered inadequate primary treatment, those with previous myomectomy where surgery might be complicated by extensive adhesions, in Jehovah's Witnesses and in other women who refuse blood transfusion.