The Health Services Authority in the Cayman Islands announced on 18th December 2017 that fibroid embolization will now be available in the Caribbean territory at the Cayman Islands Hospital on Grand Cayman.
This is a great step forward for the islands as it means that patients will no longer need to travel overseas to receive this procedure.
Embolization, or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), is a procedure that blocks the blood vessels (uterine arteries) to the fibroids, starving them of oxygen and therefore causing them to shrink. This procedure is carried out by an interventional radiologist who makes a small cut in the groin area and then inserts a tube (catheter) through the cut, using live x-ray images on a monitor to guide the tube into the uterine arteries. Tiny plastic beads (the size of fine sand particles) are then injected into the artery supplying the fibroid and these tiny particles block the artery. Over the next few hours, the fibroids ‘die’ and then shrink over the next few months and years.
Complications from embolization are rare and tend to be fairly minor, for example: bruising, pain, fever and vaginal discharge.
The benefits of this procedure are it preserves fertility and it is minimally invasive so there are fewer complications than major surgery and a faster recovery time.
This announcement means that women in the Cayman Islands who are affected by fibroids have more treatment options.
Find out more about the Cayman Islands Health Authority here