Pelvic arterial embolization is a safe, effective, fertility-preserving alternative to hysterectomy for the treatment of intractable postpartum hemorrhage, according to a study by radiologists at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
The researchers reviewed data on 28 patients who underwent the procedure in the last 25 years. They found that the most common causes of hemorrhage were vaginal/cervical laceration, placenta accreta, and placenta previa, and that embolization was unsuccessful in only one of the cases.
All patients who wished to become pregnant were subsequently able to do so and experienced full-term, uncomplicated deliveries. The most commonly reported long-term side effects of the procedure were buttock numbness and urinary frequency.
Ornan D, White R, Pollak J, et al. Pelvic embolization for intractable postpartum hemorrhage: long-term follow-up and implications for fertility. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;102:904-910.