WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A nationwide study shows that uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is vastly underutilized, compared to hysterectomies, despite data showing that UFEs result in substantially lower costs and shorter hospital stays, according to research presented March 6 at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting.
"These findings suggest there is a lack of awareness about this safe, effective, and less invasive therapy for uterine fibroids," said Prasoon Mohan, M.D., the study's lead author and assistant professor in the department of interventional radiology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. "Interventional radiologists urge health care professionals to present patients with all available treatment options so that the patient can make an informed decision."
This study included an analysis of data from the 2012 and 2013 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). Using this data, researchers compared how women were treated for this condition, the costs of the treatments, and the outcomes.
The data revealed that over this period, 165,000 more hysterectomies were performed than UFEs (167,650 vs. 2,470) nationwide. Further, only 0.4 percent of UFEs were performed in rural hospitals compared to 9.4 percent of hysterectomies in the same setting; and 7.9 percent of UFEs were performed in small hospital systems compared to 67.4 percent in large hospital systems.
"The fact that so few women undergo UFE in rural and small hospital settings shows a health care access and education disparity in who receives this treatment. It is important that we continue to educate patients about choice and determine ways to increase access to this therapy," said Mohan.
The data also showed that UFE resulted in shorter hospital stays (2.16 for UFE vs. 2.32 days for hysterectomy), and was less expensive than a hysterectomy by about $12,000 ($21,583 for UFE vs. $33,104 for hysterectomy).
UFE is performed by an interventional radiologist who inserts a thin catheter into the artery at the groin or wrist. The doctor guides the catheter to the fibroid's blood supply where small particles are released to block the small blood vessels and deprive the fibroid of nutrients. This results in the fibroid shrinking in size. Approximately nine out of 10 patients who undergo UFE will experience significant improvement or their symptoms will go away completely.
About the Society of Interventional Radiology
The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 7,000 practicing interventional radiology physicians, trainees, students, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies.
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SOURCE Society of Interventional Radiology