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May 13, 2021  
REFERENCE: Choosing a Doctor

Inverventional Radiologists and Gynecologists - What you need to know:

What is an interventional radiologist?

A: Interventional radiologists (IRs) are specially-trained doctors who use X-rays and other imaging techniques to "see" inside the body while they guide narrow tubes (catheters) and other very small instruments through the blood vessels and other pathways of the body to treat a variety of medical disorders without surgery. One of these procedures is a less invasive treatment for uterine fibroids called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE). IR's work in collaboration with gynecologists to provide treatment for symptomatic fibroids. Below is a list of IR's who specialize in UFE.

Q: What is a gynecologist?

A: Gynecologists (Gyn's) are doctors with special skills, training, and education in the management of women's health issues. The care provided by them can range from a basic annual gynecologic examination to complex surgery. Women who have been diagnosed with or suspect they have fibroids should have a full gynecological examination prior choosing a treatment that is best for their situation. If you have not had a recent examination, below is a list of Gyn's who specialize in the management of uterine fibroids.

Q: Why do gynecologists and interventional radiologists work together?

A: In most cases, a gynecologist will diagnose a patient with fibroids. However, gynecologists do not perform every procedure that can treat fibroids. While gynecologists can perform hysterectomies and myomectomies, interventional radiologists perform the UFE (uterine fibroid embolization) procedure. Once diagnosed with fibroids, gynecologists can refer a patient to an interventional radiologist to discuss minimally invasive treatment options.

Read An Untapped Partnership — a feature story discussing the collaboration between radiologists and gynecologists.

If you are considering seeing a new doctor,
here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • Is the gender of the doctor I select important to me?

  • Would I prefer a doctor I could speak to in my Native language?

  • How important is the setting and location of the doctor's office

    • Inside a large hospital or a small private building?
    • Accessible by public transportation?
    • Ample parking
    • Flexible office hours?

  • Have any of my friends or family members gone to this doctor?

    • If so, did they like the physician?

  • Does the physician's age or religious affiliation matter to me?

  • Would I prefer a solo practitioner or a doctor who is part of a group practice?

    • If I choose a solo practitioner what is her/his availability?
    • If I choose a doctor who is part of a group practice can I request to see my own doctor each time?

  • Once you decide to make an appointment to see a physician you can further explore if you've made the right choice. At your first appointment you can decide:

    • Are you pleased with the overall atmosphere of the office?
    • Clean waiting room
    • Good flow of patients in and out of the office
    • You feel comfortable while waiting to be seen

  • Did you find the office staff and nursing staff pleasant and attentive?

  • Was the doctor informative and were you pleased with her/his general manner and style?

    • The doctor spent enough time with you
    • The doctor gave you a chance to ask questions/raise concerns
    • The doctor was conversational and not just right to business
    • The doctor seemed genuinely interested in you

  • Were you comfortable asking the doctor questions and did she/he seem open to your ideas?

  • Is the doctor experienced in your areas of need (uterine fibroids, childbirth, hormone therapy)?

    • Has the doctor performed the procedure you're interested in?
    • How many babies has the doctor delivered?
    • Does the doctor have experience with prescribing hormone therapy?

  • Will it be easy to schedule future appointments with the doctor?

  • Is the doctor available to return your phone calls or will a nurse or staff member call you back?

  • Does the doctor generally do a lot of referrals to other physicians/surgeons?

This list is just to get you started, be sure to add other questions that are important to you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions of your doctor or any of their staff members. The more informed you are, the better care you will receive from your doctor.

Locate a Fibroids Specialist
A visit with a physician who is educated on the treatment of uterine fibroids is the best way to determine if a UFE procedure is right for you.
Click Here to Find the Specialist Nearest You.
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Learn about the newest treatment options for your uterine fibroids.

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