UFE is an excellent hysterectomy alternative that gives most women moderate to complete improvement of their symptoms. Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that develop within the uterus from the myometrium, the smooth muscular tissue of the uterus. They range in size from very small and can be larger than a softball. The growth pattern of uterine fibroids varies with some growing quickly and some slowly.
Chronic Uterine Fibroids
Am I A Candidate for UFE treatment?
Uterine fibroids are most common among women of childbearing age; African-American women are at higher risk for fibroids. Women with a family history are also more likely to develop fibroids. While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, their size, location or type can lead to problems for some women. If you experience pelvic pain, cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, the frequent need to urinate, pain during intercourse and fertility problems, you are likely to be a candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization.
How Does UFE Work?
Uterine fibroid embolization blocks the blood vessels that supply the uterine fibroid, causing it to shrink. The UFE procedure is performed under conscious sedation, and takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. Once sedated, our interventional radiologist will insert a small catheter to the uterus through a tiny incision at the top of the thigh. Using imaging guidance and contrast material to highlight the area to be treated, the specific arteries that feed the uterine fibroid are identified and injected with small, sand-like particles. The fibroids shrink and die, while the rest of the uterus remains intact. Once the catheter is removed, one overnight stay in the hospital is required with a recovery period of about 7-10 days. The fibroids continue to shrink and die for several months after fibroid embolization. By contrast, a hysterectomy requires general anesthesia, a longer hospital stay, and 4-8 weeks of recovery.
After the Procedure
One of our Interventional Radiologists will interpret your results and advise you whether the procedure was a success. During a follow-up visit, your physician may discuss any additional treatment you may need or if you experience any side effects of the procedure.