Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
If you’re considering surgery to remove your fibroids, you should know that you have other options. Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is minimally invasive and shrinks your fibroids while eliminating painful, unpredictable symptoms. If heavy bleeding, bleeding between cycles, frequent urination, or pelvic pain is preventing you from living a healthy life, it’s time to discover the numerous benefits of UFE.
What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization Treatment?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is an outpatient procedure that treats uterine fibroids and alleviates symptoms. There is no hospitalization required, and the procedure is minimally invasive, so you can leave without stitches. UFE treatment is a great option for women who suffer from fibroids but don’t want to go through major 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 advanced ultrasound technology, also known as fibroid mapping. This live guidance allows the specialist to see which arteries are connected to the fibroids, and how many fibroids they will need to treat.
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 embolic material into the artery. These particles block the blood flow and keep blood from getting to your fibroids, causing them to shrink. Without a steady supply of oxygenated blood, the fibroids begin to starve and die. The injected embolic material remains permanently in the blood vessels at the fibroid site; therefore, the likelihood of the same fibroid returning to its normal size is rare. This FDA-approved treatment is an effective solution for treating fibroid symptoms. Due to the fact that this a targeted treatment, only the fibroids are affected, meaning the uterus and ovaries are left completely unscathed.
The UFE procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the number of fibroids that are needed to be treated. 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?
Your first thought may be, “How do I know if I’m a good candidate for UFE?” If so, we’ve got you covered. If you:
- Are limited to what activities you can do because of heavy bleeding or pelvic pain
- Have to plan your day around being close to a restroom
- Are constantly buying and using an excessive amount of tampons or pads, or having to layer to prevent bleeding through
- Constantly worrying about bleeding through your clothes in public
- Forced to miss work due to pelvic pain, pressure, or cramps
- Can’t wear your normal size in pants due to a protruding belly or abdomen
- Are unable to wear white, or light colored clothing
- Constantly taking over-the-counter pain medications to manage pain
If you experience any of the above situations, then you may be a good candidate for UFE. It’s important to talk to a fibroid specialist to learn more about non-surgical, outpatient fibroid treatment.
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. Our interventional radiologists will walk you through the entire procedure and answer all questions regarding treatment, risks, benefits, and recovery. We want you to feel as informed and comfortable as possible when choosing fibroid treatment.
Contact USA Fibroid Centers
If you’re ready to start feeling better today, 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 or read our guide on UFE to learn more.