Indiana physician seeks to reduce unnecessary hysterectomies

Claims that minimally invasive option may be just as effective in treating fibroids but without the need for surgery and its associated short- and long-term risks

January 23, 2023 – Merrillville, IN

Despite advances in medical technology, hysterectomy is still the most common treatment for uterine fibroids worldwide. It is estimated that this surgery is performed in up to 76.5% of fibroid cases.1

“Many women are led to believe that the uterus is a non-essential organ, especially if they are not planning to become pregnant,” says Dr. Nazar Golewale of NG Vascular. “But there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that unless a specific health condition truly requires removal of the uterus, a woman is best served by keeping it.”

Dr. Golewale says that so many women opt for hysterectomy because they believe that it is the only definitive way to end the debilitating symptoms that can be caused by fibroids, such as intense pelvic cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, urinary urgency, incontinence and more. However, a systematic review of the long-term risks for women with fibroids who undergo hysterectomy reveals that:

  • Complications from the surgery itself range from 17.2% to 23.3%2 and include infection, bleeding, urinary tract and bowel injuries, and even death in up to 3.8 per 1,000 surgeries.3
  • Women who underwent hysterectomy at age 35 or younger have a 4.6x greater risk of congestive heart failure and a 2.5x greater risk of coronary artery disease.4
  • A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic and published in January 2018 showed that hysterectomy (without ovary removal), led to a 14% higher risk of abnormal blood fat levels, a 13% higher risk for high blood pressure and an 18% higher risk for obesity.
  • Women undergoing hysterectomy have a 60% increased risk of incontinence by age 605 and reach menopause two years sooner.6
  • 10-20% of women report deteriorated sexual function after hysterectomy7

“There is an effective alternative to hysterectomy to treat fibroids that does not require surgery or uterus removal,” says Dr. Golewale. “And unlike myomectomy—surgery to remove the fibroids from the uterus—the results are long lasting, and the fibroids won’t return within 24 months.”

He is referring to uterine fibroid embolization, known as UFE for short. It is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist who uses tiny catheters—guided by imaging—to inject small particles (called microspheres) into the arteries that feed the fibroid and cause it to grow. This cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink and symptoms to disappear.

UFE is FDA approved and covered by most insurance. It is performed on an outpatient basis, takes about an hour, and the patient can return home after their treatment. Most normal activities can be resumed 24 hours after the procedure.

“UFE has already benefited tens of thousands of women in the United States,” Dr. Golewale adds. “It has a greater than 90% patient satisfaction rating, and complications are very rare. Most importantly, it can help women avoid a hysterectomy and the long-term health risks of losing the uterus.”

If a woman wishes to know if UFE is right for her, she can talk to her doctor or contact NG Vascular at 219-208-6218.

About NG Vascular & Vein Center

NG Vascular specializes in less invasive treatments for various conditions that once required open surgery, from peripheral artery disease (PAD), varicose veins, knee osteoarthritis, uterine fibroids and several other painful and often life-threatening conditions.  With offices throughout Northwest Indiana & greater Chicago area, their treatments are outpatient based, with a faster recovery and minimal discomfort.

  1. Barrett M.L., Weiss A.J., Stocks C., Steiner C.A., Myers E.R. Procedures to Treat Benign Uterine Fibroids in Hospital Inpatient and Hospital-Based Ambulatory Surgery Settings, 2013: Statistical Brief #200. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); Rockville, MD, USA: 2016. [(accessed on 6 July 2021)].
  2. Juha Mäkinen et al. Morbidity of 10 110 hysterectomies by type of approach  Human Reproduction, Volume 16, Issue 7, July 2001, Pages 1473 1478,
  3. K. McPherson et al. Severe complications of hysterectomy: the VALUE study BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology July 2004, Vol. 111, pp.688-694
  4. Laughlin-Tommaso S.K., Khan Z., Weaver A.L., Smith C.Y., Rocca W.A., Stewart E.A. Cardiovascular and metabolic morbidity after hysterectomy with ovarian conservation: A cohort study. Menopause. 2018;25:483–492. doi: 10.1097/G
  5. Jeanette S Brown et al. Hysterectomy and urinary incontinence: a systematic review. The Lancet, 12 August 2000
  6. Association of Ovary-Sparing Hysterectomy With Ovarian Reserve Trabuco, Emanuel C. MD, MS; Moorman, Patricia G. PhD; Algeciras-Schimnich, Alicia PhD; Weaver, Amy L. MS; Cliby, William A. MD Obstetrics & Gynecology: May 2016 – Volume 127 – Issue 5 – p 819–827
  7. Risa Lonnée-Hoffmann and Ingrid Pinas Effects of Hysterectomy on Sexual Function Curr Sex Health Rep. 2014; 6(4): 244–251.Published online 2014 Sep 14. doi:  10.1007/s11930-014-0029-3

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