Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Treatment

Uterine fibroid embolization or UFE is a non-surgical procedure for fibroids.  UFE is a safe, effective alternative to surgery that allows women with fibroids to feel better without having their uterus removed. 

What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

Also known as uterine artery embolization or UAE, UFE is a non-surgical treatment option that provides relief from fibroids without the risks of surgery. Fibroid embolization is recognized as safe and effective by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and it’s been used by doctors all over the world to treat fibroids successfully for over two decades. 

If you have fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, abdominal bloating, low energy from blood loss, and pain during intercourse, UFE has been proven to be an effective option for relieving symptoms. The expert fibroid doctors at USA Fibroids Centers have years of experience with UFE and have helped countless women get lasting symptom relief

How Does UFE Work to Treat Fibroids?

With UFE, interventional radiologists use imaging technology to guide a catheter through the groin (femoral artery) or the wrist (radial artery) to the fibroid artery. During treatment, they block the uterine arteries that supply blood to existing fibroids.

Without their blood supply, the fibroids shrink and die, and any remaining fibroid tissue is naturally reabsorbed by the body. As a result, patients notice a significant reduction in symptoms and start feeling better within a couple of weeks after treatment.

Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization Treatment Right for You?

Labeled medical diagram of a fibroid in a uterus.

UFE is an excellent option for women who suffer from fibroids but don’t want to undergo surgery or have to deal with a long recovery time. Our doctors provide a diagnosis and determine if you are a good candidate for UFE, ensuring the best outcomes for our patients.

With the UFE procedure, there is no hospitalization, stitches, or scarring involved. It also won’t impact your fertility, which is why many women who want to have children in the future choose UFE over a hysterectomy. 

After UFE, your fibroids will shrink, and even your toughest symptoms — from heavy menstruation to chronic abdominal pain — can disappear.

Benefits of embolization for uterine fibroids:

  • Preserves the uterus
  • Requires no general anesthesia
  • Does not cause scarring like surgical techniques do
  • Over 90% of women say they are satisfied after treatment (99% of our patients experience symptom relief)
  • Relatively short recovery time so you can get back to living your life faster
  • Doesn’t require a hospital stay — UFE is an outpatient procedure
  • FDA-approved

After UFE treatment, you can look forward to:

  • Less pain, if any
  • Lighter periods
  • More energy
  • Less frequent urination
  • Less pain with sex, if any
  • Reduced bloating and swelling

Types of Fibroids Treated with UFE

UFE effectively targets all types of fibroids, including:

  • Intramural fibroids
  • Subserosal fibroids
  • Submucosal fibroids
  • Pedunculated fibroids

Because this treatment stops the flow of oxygenated blood that feeds the fibroids, it can treat all existing tumors at once. As a result, it’s an effective treatment for women who have multiple fibroids. It can also address different sized fibroids, including fibroids as small as a grape or as large as a melon. UFE will also shrink fibroids that are difficult to remove surgically. 

What to Expect During a UFE Procedure

A UFE procedure is quick and relatively straightforward. Before UFE treatment, your doctor 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.

Before the procedure, you’ll receive a light sedative that helps you relax. General anesthesia is not necessary.

We will locate your fibroids using advanced ultrasound technology, 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.

Your doctor will treat the fibroids by injecting an embolic material into the targeted uterine artery. You won’t feel anything and can relax until the procedure is done. UFE usually takes about 30 minutes, although it can take longer for patients with a high number of fibroids. 

Uterine Fibroid Embolization Recovery

After your procedure, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and ready to go home to start your recovery. The average recovery time for our patients is 11 days, although it can take anywhere from one to two weeks. 

Immediately after a UFE procedure, you can expect to have cramping in your lower abdomen for the first 24 hours. It will feel similar to what you would experience during your normal menstrual cycle but will subside quickly. 

We recommend that you plan to stay home from work for the first week to recover from UFE. You’ll be able to return to all your normal activities within two weeks.

Who Is Not a Candidate for UFE?

You may not be a candidate for UFE if you have a pelvic infection that is still active or certain bleeding issues. If you have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer, UFE may not be an option. If you’re pregnant, your doctor may recommend waiting until after the baby is born before proceeding with UFE.

Benefits of UFE vs. Other Procedures

Because UFE is less invasive, it has a shorter recovery time than a hysterectomy or myomectomy. Since this is an outpatient procedure, you will go home the same day.

UFE also preserves the uterus, allowing you to maintain your fertility. A hysterectomy involves removing the uterus, and the patient will no longer be able to conceive or carry a baby. 

Learn more about how uterine fibroid embolization compares to other treatments, including a myomectomy, Acessa™, and a hysterectomy

Find Out if UFE Is Right for You — Book a Consultation at USA Fibroid Centers 

If you have uterine fibroids and are looking for a less invasive treatment than surgery, uterine fibroid embolization may be right for you. Our caring doctors can consult with you about your symptoms, offer an accurate diagnosis using advanced imaging technology, and talk to you about treating your fibroids with UFE. 

Schedule a consultation at a fibroid center near you or book a virtual doctor visit. We accept most insurance policies and offer affordable payment options. S

chedule online today or call 855.615.2555 to speak with a patient care specialist. We look forward to helping you on your journey to becoming fibroid-free!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who Should See a Fibroid Specialist About UFE?

If fibroid symptoms are affecting your life, it’s important to see a specialist. An experienced doctor can confirm you have fibroids, give you an accurate diagnosis, and treat your condition. 

Here are telltale signs that your symptoms are related to uterine fibroids and it’s time to see a fibroid specialist:

  • You are limited to what activities you can do because of heavy bleeding or pelvic pain.
  • You have to plan your day around being close to a restroom.
  • You’re constantly buying and using an excessive amount of tampons or pads, or having to layer to prevent bleeding through.
  • You’re forced to miss work due to pelvic pain, pressure, or cramps.
  • You can’t wear your normal size in pants due to a protruding belly or abdomen.
  • You’re constantly taking over-the-counter medications to manage pain.

How successful is uterine fibroid embolization?

Clinical studies show that uterine fibroid embolization is successful in about 95% of cases. In general, patients experience a significant reduction in symptoms, including excessive bleeding, pelvic pain, and urinary issues, and have minimal complications. 

USA Fibroid Centers has a higher-than-normal success rate — 99% of our patients feel better after their treatment. 

How long does it take to recover after a uterine fibroid embolization treatment?

The recovery time for UFE is much shorter than it is for fibroid removal surgery. Most women are back to their normal activities and feeling great within one to two weeks.

Also, with fibroid embolization, you can recover in the comfort of your home. There’s no hospital stay, and you can go home after your procedure. 

How long does uterine fibroid embolization last?

Embolization is a long-lasting procedure. Studies show that even after a year, the majority of patients still have a complete obstruction of the blood supply. After five years, nearly 90% of patients in clinical studies report that their symptoms are under control proving UFE for fibroids is an effective option.

Can fibroids grow back after UFE?

It is possible. However, fibroids usually don’t grow back after treatment. When the blood supply is cut off, the fibroids shrink and soften, and the body naturally absorbs any dead fibroid tissue. After that, there’s a small chance that new uterine growths will develop, and if they do, it can take years before they create symptoms.


With a myomectomy, 20 out of 100 women will have new fibroids within the first few years after their treatment. With UFE, even four and five years after treatment, regrowth is rare. One study using MRI imaging to check for new fibroids found new growth in 6% of patients (only one out of 16 women in a long-term study has reemerging symptoms from a new growth.)

What are the disadvantages of fibroid embolization?

As with any medical procedure, there are risks with uterine artery embolization. Possible complications include uterine ischemia (blocking of the blood flow to the uterus or ovaries), blood clots, and an infection. Some women experience postembolization syndrome, which usually clears up within a week. Symptoms of postembolization syndrome include nausea, fever, and pelvic pain. 

Complications are less likely when your procedure is done by an experienced fibroid doctor. Our physicians specialize in UFE, and this is the only treatment we offer at our fibroid clinics. That’s why we’re able to offer such a high quality of care. 

How long does it take for fibroids to shrink after embolization?

It can take two to three months before your fibroids shrink enough to create a significant difference in your symptoms. Studies show that most fibroids shrink to about half their size at the time of treatment after three months. They’ll continue shrinking in the months after that.

Don’t Suffer Another Day

Life with fibroids can be painful and challenging. Timely detection and treatment of fibroids can relieve symptoms, as well as reduce your risk for hysterectomy.

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