The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on uterine artery embolisation for fibroids.
It replaces the previous guidance on uterine artery embolisation for fibroids (NICE interventional procedures guidance 1 and 94).
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that occur in the womb. They often have no symptoms but they can cause heavy bleeding, pain, and sometimes make it difficult for a woman to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to term. Uterine artery embolisation involves injecting small particles into the blood vessels that take blood to the uterus, via the groin. The aim is to block the blood supply to the fibroids to relieve symptoms and reduce their size.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, and specifically any special arrangements relating to the introduction of new interventional procedures. The guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties. Providers should ensure that governance structures are in place to review, authorise and monitor the introduction of new devices and procedures.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.