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Published on October 16, 2015

Women’s health: Are you living with pain?

Find out how these three conditions can be treated

womenNew curves as a teenager. Laugh lines in middle age. Silver hair in the golden years.

Throughout life, women adjust to many physical changes. But they shouldn’t have to live with constant discomfort.

At Nazareth Hospital, interventional radiologists are specialists at relieving women’s pain. Each of the following three conditions can be treated using minimally invasive procedures:

Fibroid tumors

These are benign (noncancerous) growths in the uterus. But they can cause symptoms such as heavy bleeding, constipation and pain.

How they’re treated: uterine fibroid embolization.

This procedure is performed to block blood flow to the fibroids. “This lets the uterus shrink so symptoms go away,” says Diane Robinson, MD, a gynecologist with Mercy Women’s Healthcare at Nazareth Hospital. She believes this can be a great alternative to hysterectomy for women nearing menopause.

Osteoporotic fractures

Osteoporosis can cause painful fractures in the spine. They’re more common in older women.

How they’re treated: kyphoplasty.

The fracture is fixed by using a hollow needle to create a path into the fractured bone. A tiny balloon is inserted through the needle and inflated—creating space to inject cement, which stabilizes the spine. “Outpatients are generally discharged two to three hours after the procedure,” says Joel Neuman, MD, an interventional radiologist with Nazareth Hospital. And there are no stitches or staples.

Varicose veins

When circulation problems cause veins in the legs to swell, it can be painful to stand.

How they’re treated: endovenous ablation.

First a catheter is placed into the swollen leg vein. “Then we use a heat source or chemical to shrink the vein,” Dr. Neuman says. “There aren’t many restrictions afterward—we encourage people to start walking immediately.”

Each procedure usually takes under an hour. And short recovery times give women a fast track back to their normal activities.

We’re here to help

There are a lot of women living with pain who don’t think they have any options. “But there are many ways to manage these conditions now,” says Dr. Robinson. “If you have symptoms, talk to your doctor about them and find out about minimally invasive treatments.”

“We work as a team with our referring physicians to achieve the best results possible,” says Dr. Neuman.

Women’s Health: By the Numbers

1 out of 2: Number of people ages 50 and older who have varicose veins in their legs.

1 in 3: Women who have pelvic pain sometime in their lives.

50%: Percentage of African American women with fibroid tumors of a significant size.

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