It is well known that Afro Caribbean women have an increased incidence of fibroids. There is a slight tendency for them to present at an earlier age, have multiple fibroids and for the condition to be a little more aggressive than in their Caucasian counterparts. The probable main cause for this is genetics. It is important that these women have a diagnosis of fibroids made as early as possible so that they can get treatment when the condition is in its relatively early or mid-stages as opposed to presenting late when the fibroids can be extremely large and difficult to treat.
Fibroid Embolisation has a success rate of well over 90%, kills all the fibroids at one hit and has a minimal complication rate compared to any form of surgery. For patients who wish to retain their fertility the results from Fibroid Embolisation are increasingly positive and a detailed discussion of Fibroid Embolisation for fertility and subsequent pregnancy can be accessed on this website.
What needs to be stressed is that Fibroid Embolisation, as opposed to surgery, is a much less invasive procedure with a very high track record of success. The problem for many women is that they are not being told about Fibroid Embolisation by Gynaecologists who are only giving them the option of surgery.
We recently surveyed 100 middle aged women who came to us for Fibroid Embolisation, to determine whether they had been informed by their Gynaecologist about the procedure. Obviously this is a highly selective group compared to the general population in which the patients have managed to be referred either by the small percentage of Gynaecologists who do refer patients for UAE or have demanded it themselves. We found that 23% were not informed by their Gynaecologist about Fibroid Embolisation. In other words they had researched it for themselves and forced their way through the system.
These results from our survey which is to be published in more detail, suggest that in the general population it is very likely that only a small percentage of patients are being told about the procedure. The probable reason for this is that although embolisation is recommended by all Colleges in the UK and USA, is approved by NICE and has an A Rating on the NHS, there is a conflict of interest because UAE is performed by a Radiologist, not a Gynaecologist.
This is a situation that needs to be rectified as virtually all patients with fibroids are suitable for Fibroid Embolisation and should have an opinion from an Interventional Radiologist.