More West Midlands hospitals need to reassess how they treat women with fibroids, a leading consultant radiologist has said.
Heartlands Hospital, in Birmingham, is the only NHS trust in the region to offer female patients a non-surgical alternative to a hysterectomy.
Fibroids, benign tumours that grow in the womb, can lead to very painful, heavy periods.
Until 1995, when uterine artery embolisation was successfully pioneered in France, surgery was the only option available.
Since then more than 150,000 women around the world have been treated successfully using this procedure, also known as fibroid embolisation, including US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
But Mr Paul Crowe, consultant radiologist at Heartlands Hospital, said many of his patients had had to seek out the treatment for themselves.
"Since the National Institute of Clinical Excellence published its guidance on the procedure in October, stating UAE is safe enough for routine use, more hospitals have been looking into offering it," he said.
"But many of my patients have only found out about it through doing their own research, rather than it being offered to them as an option by their consultants.
"Heartlands is the only NHS trust in the West Midlands offering this at the moment, and often I hear that doctors elsewhere have not known about it, telling patients a hysterectomy is their only option."
He added that despite the revised NICE guidance, many women were still being told surgery was their only option.
Apart from Heartlands, there are only two other private centres in region which offer UAE and only 55 in Britain.
"It can be a devastating blow to be told the only way to effectively treat this condition is through surgery, but that simply is not the case any more," said Mr Crowe.
The procedure involves injecting tiny plastic spheres, suspended in alcohol, through a catheter into the uterus.
These small beads travel along the uterine artery towards the fibroids and block the smaller capillary arteries, stemming the blood flow which causes the tumours to shrink.
As a result of not having surgery, patients recover within six to ten days after fibroid embolisation, compared to three months after surgery.
Mr Crowe said many of his patients were in their 30s and 40s, and while some had already had families an increasing number of women had not had children.
He added: " They are inquiring about this because they want to retain the option of having children in the future. They don't want a surgeon making that decision for them.
"When fibroid embolisation first started, patients were told not to get pregnant because it was feared the blood supply to the placenta would be affected, leading to retarded foetal growth.
"More recently patients have gone on to have healthy pregnancies, but we do advise women not to conceive for 12 months though."
* For more information about fibroids and fibroid embolisation, visit www.fibroidnetwork.com or www.femisa.org.uk