Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
If you’re considering surgery to remove your fibroids, you should know that you have other options. UFE treatment is minimally invasive and shrinks your fibroids while eliminating any painful symptoms. This treatment could be exactly what you need to live life to the fullest without your fibroids getting in the way.
What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization Treatment?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a specialized form of Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE). UAE is a procedure used to stop pelvic bleeding due to trauma, malignant tumors, or hemorrhage after childbirth.
UFE is an outpatient procedure that treats uterine fibroids and gets rid of symptoms. You don’t need to stay in a hospital, and the procedure is minimally invasive, so you can leave without even a scar. UFE treatment is a great option for women who suffer from fibroids but don’t want to go through a surgery with a long recovery time. After UFE, your fibroids will shrink, and your toughest symptoms — from heavy menstruation to chronic abdominal pain — will disappear.
What to Expect During a UFE Procedure
A UFE procedure is quick and relatively straightforward. At USA Fibroid Centers, an interventional radiologist will start by giving you a light sedative that helps you relax. Then, we’ll locate your fibroids using an advanced ultrasound, also known as fibroid mapping.
The interventional radiologist will then numb your upper thigh, make a small incision, and insert a tiny catheter. A real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy helps guide the catheter into the uterine artery that supplies blood to fibroids. Then, we inject small plastic or gelatine particles into the artery. They block the blood flow and keep blood from getting to your fibroids, causing them to shrink.
The UFE procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes. After the particles reach the artery, the interventional radiologist will take the catheter out and put a small bandage over your incision. Stitches aren’t required, and you won’t leave with a scar.
Recovery Time: Most women completely recover in 1-2 weeks
Are You a Candidate for a Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure?
Before choosing UFE treatment, you need to understand the pros and cons and whether the procedure is right for you. If you have any of the following characteristics, you’re not a good candidate for UFE:
- Active pelvic infection
- Uncorrectable bleeding problems
- Endometrial cancer
- Very large fibroids
Before UFE treatment, you should talk to your doctor about if you could be pregnant and what drugs you’re taking. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking any painkillers, including Advil or Motrin. You should also try to quit smoking before your surgery.
UFE is a relatively low-risk procedure compared to a hysterectomy or myomectomy. Some of the benefits of a UFE procedure include that there are no incisions, it’s less invasive than surgery, and it requires a shorter recovery time. The biggest risks include infection or damage to the blood vessel.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers
If you’re ready to take control of your life, USA Fibroid Centers can help. With UFE, you can get your life back and enjoy every day without the symptoms of fibroids. Contact us today to learn more.