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Uterine Artery (Fibroid) Embolization

Like many women, you may suffer from uterine fibroids.  Fibroids are non-cancerous masses. Symptoms, when they occur, typically include excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle and an uncomfortable pain due to the enlarged uterus. Fibroids can become quite large, sometimes leaving you with a “pregnant” feeling. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a new alternative to surgery for women suffering from fibroids.

Recent articles have shown that approximately 80-90 % of women have had moderate to complete improvement in their symptoms related to fibroids after the UFE procedure. Also, given the global nature of the treatment, the chance of reoccurrence of symptoms after a successful treatment, is very low.

Sandra, age 52 says, “I couldn’t believe my first period after the procedure. No more clotting, no more cramping and no heavy bleeding.” Moreover, Eddie, age 48, says: “It’s been three years and I am still absolutely free of symptoms. I know even before I go for my check ups that the fibroids have not come back, because my stomach is flat. I thought I would never be free of this and now I am like a new person.”

Preparation for treatment:

From a tiny skin nick in the groin, a small tube is placed into the arteries feeding the fibroids, which are then blocked (i.e. embolized), with very small, sand-like particles. The fibroids then shrink and die while the uterus remains intact. As this occurs, women typically experience crampy abdominal pain during the first week, which is well treated with pain medication.

Length of treatment:

The length of treatment varies from 1 to 1 ½ hours.

After your treatment:

  • The UFE procedure is performed by an Interventional Radiologist, typically with an overnight stay in the hospital and a recovery period of 7-10 days. This is a dramatic contrast to the 4-8 week recovery period usually associated with a hysterectomy.
  • Results may be noticeable by the first menstrual cycle after the procedure.