UAE vs. myomectomy for uterine fibroids

April 1, 2006

In a multicenter comparative study involving 149 women undergoing uterine artery embolization (UAE) and 60 women undergoing myomectomy, researchers found that both procedures resulted in similar bleeding improvement, uterine volume reduction, uterine fibroid quality-of-life score improvement, and overall quality-of-life score improvement.

In a multicenter comparative study involving 149 women undergoing uterine artery embolization (UAE) and 60 women undergoing myomectomy, researchers found that both procedures resulted in similar bleeding improvement, uterine volume reduction, uterine fibroid quality-of-life score improvement, and overall quality-of-life score improvement.

However, the mean hospital stay for the women receiving UAE was 1 day versus 2.5 days for the myomectomy patients. Time to return to normal activities was 15 days for the UAE group versus 44 days for the myomectomy group, and time to return to work was 10 and 37 days, respectively. At least one adverse event occurred in almost twice as many women receiving myomectomy as in those receiving UAE (40.1% vs. 22.1%, respectively).

But benefits must always be weighed against failures, and researchers in a separate retrospective study calculated a 9.4% failure rate for uterine artery embolization.

The symptoms most often prompting subsequent surgery were recurrent menorrhagia, which occurred in 13 (59.1%) of the women, and persistent abdominal pain, which occurred in five (22.7%) of the women.

Goodwin SC, Bradley LD, Lipman JC, et al. Uterine artery embolization versus myomectomy: a multicenter comparative study. Fertil Steril. 2006;85:14-21.

Huang JY, Kafy S, Dugas A, et al. Failure of uterine fibroid embolization. Fertil Steril. 2006;85:30-35.