Issue: 2011 > June > original article

Implementation of uterine artery embolisation for symptomatic uterine fibroids: an inventory

S.M. van der Kooij, E. Klint, W.J.K. Hehenkamp, S. Bipat, W.M. Ankum, J.A. Reekers


The validity of uterine artery embolisation (UAE ) as an
alternative treatment for hysterectomy to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids has been well established. Despite its favourable outcomes, UAE is still only marginally applied in the Netherlands. The aim of this inventory is to identify factors which either restrict or facilitate the implementation of UAE. Gynaecologists and interventional-radiologists in three hospitals in Amsterdam were interviewed by means of questionnaires. One of these hospitals had ample
experience in UAE for uterine fibroids, one hospital had
just started providing this treatment, and one hospital did
not perform UAE. Also patients with symptomatic fibroids
who were scheduled for either UAE or hysterectomy were
interviewed about the counselling for UAE. The following obstacles in the implementation of UAE were found: lack of knowledge about UAE , absence of a multidisciplinary protocol, and above all, the absence of UAE as one of the treatment options in the Dutch national guideline on the management of menorrhagia. 75% of all patients claimed to be well informed about UAE by their
gynaecologist. Our recommendations for the implementation of UAE are: 1) adding UAE to the Dutch guideline for the management of menorrhagia with clearly defined indications and contraindications; 2) educating gynaecologists about UAE; 3) composing a patient information leaflet and a website, and 4) arranging a protocol in a multidisciplinary team.