March 13, 2009

Interventional Radiology Makes Childbirth Safer

C-sections and 'invasive' placenta conditions can result in excessive bleeding and be life threatening for mothers.   At a recent Interventional Radiology Conference doctors released the findings of two new studies about procedures that are making childbirth safer.
The first is study is about embolization, a well-established interventional radiology technique that blocks blood vessels, controlling hemorrhaging.  Doctors say severe bleeding sometimes occurs either immediately after a C-section or up to several weeks after delivery. With embolization, interventional radiologists can block life threatening bleeding immediately.

The second study focuses on making childbirth safer for women who suffer from a rare but increasingly frequent birth condition when a woman's placenta grows or "invades" into the uterine wall.    Before interventional radiology treatment was available, the placenta couldn't be delivered and women would have to have a hysterectomy or in some cases died.
"Interventional radiology treatments avoid open surgery, general anesthesia, a long recovery time and other serious risk factors associated with surgical control of the bleeding. In preventing the need for hysterectomy, embolization may preserve a woman's uterus, allowing her to have other children," Michael S. Stecker, M.D., interventional radiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital of Boston was quoted as saying.


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