Minimally Invasive Procedure for Uterine Fibroids Reverses Woman’s Heavy Periods

By Rosie Eckerbeverly

Beverly Collier, University of Cincinnati graduate and now UC employee, started experiencing heavy and lengthier periods at the age of 50.

Beverly was suffering from uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors that develop in the uterus. These tumors are noncancerous but can cause heavy menses, back pain and pelvic pain. Women who are nearing menopause are at the greatest risk for fibroids due to their long exposure to estrogen.

When menopause still had not settled in for Beverly in the summer of 2019, she started looking into other options. At this point, Beverly could rarely leave her house when it was her time of the month. The stress of finding a restroom to change deemed too difficult for her to venture out.

And of course, with her heavy menstrual cycles and loss of blood, Beverly started suffering from anemia. Anemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen all over the body. With anemia comes symptoms like fatigue, weakness and sometimes even dizziness.

Beverly was referred from her gynecologist to Interventional Radiology at UC Health. Here, she was connected to Abouelmagd Makramalla , MD, section chief of interventional radiology, director of interventional oncology and assistant professor of vascular and interventional radiology at the UC College of Medicine — also known as “Dr. Mak.” Dr. Mak assured Beverly she wouldn’t have to have a full hysterectomy to cure her symptoms.

Beverly was thrilled.

Beverly underwent a noninvasive procedure called a uterine fibroid embolization — a procedure to shrink uterine fibroids. Interventional radiologists like Dr. Mak subspecialize in treating conditions without invasive surgery. Using imaging as a guide, interventional radiologists do a variety of procedures such as cancer, liver, kidney, lung and prostate treatments as well as treatment of varicose veins.

Just three weeks after her procedure, Beverly was completely back to normal. “Dr. Makramalla and the IR staff were wonderful,” Beverly said, “I’m happier, I’ve lost weight and I’m able to do more.”

Beverly told her patient success story in hopes to help other women who might be suffering from similar symptoms.

“If it can help somebody, that’s all that matters,” she said.

Dr. Makramalla said it was a pleasure to care for Beverly.

“When I saw her for the first time in clinic, she had been struggling with her symptoms for a while. Uterine fibroid embolization is a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from uterine fibroids. I am glad to see Ms. Collier living symptom free and enjoying her life as it should be,” said Dr. Makramalla.

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