Non surgical uterine fibroid embolization (also called uterine artery embolization)
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also called uterine artery embolization (UAE) is a "pinhole", minimally invasive, outpatient treatment for uterine fibroids that reduces the blood supply to the fibroid, which then shrinks and stop growing. This procedure can be done in a specialized doctor's office and you can go home the same day with little more than a Band-Aid!
A specialized doctor called an interventional radiologist inserts a small tube (a catheter) into an artery in your groin (upper leg) or wrist. The interventional radiologist uses x-rays to guide the tiny flexible tube called a catheter through the blood vessels to your uterus. Once there, your doctor places tiny coils or injects plastic microspheres (polyvinyl alcohol) into the arteries supplying blood to your uterine fibroid(s). These coils or particles block arteries and stop oxygen and nutrients from feeding the fibroid. The fibroids "starve", shrink and die. Treated fibroid tissue is resorbed by your body over time. The UFE procedure will stop bleeding, heavy menstrual periods and lead to the elimination of other symptoms.
What is embolization?
Embolization is a technique that cuts or blocks the blood supply to an organ or tumor. Embolization for uterine fibroids involves blocking the flow of blood into the uterine arteries.
What are uterine fibroids and where do they get their blood supply?
Fibroids are benign, noncancerous tumors that grow in the muscle of your uterus. The source of their blood supply is arteries called endometrial artery branches. These arteries branch off the main uterine artery into the fibroid where it feeds it with oxygen and nutrients.
Imaging & Interventional Specialists offer FDA-approved treatments (non-surgical alternatives) for uterine fibroids.
Call us now or schedule an appointment to discuss your condition and your options.
What are my options?
The UFE procedure is minimally invasive treatment mainly performed because other treatments have failed to work or have come with unpleasant side effects. Other types of uterine surgery can cause scarring which may create problems later on trying to conceive a baby. Another surgical option for treating fibroids is hysterectomy, but this involves removal of ovaries too so women must go through menopause earlier than usual.
What are the potential risks associated with uterine fibroid embolization?
Uterine artery embolization is an office procedure that requires no general anesthesia and minimal risks. You go home the same day. There may be side effects such as pain, and low-grade fever after the procedure but these respond to medication and resolve in days. Because there's no cutting involved in UFE, there's a reduced chance of infection or injury to other organs during the procedure.
What should I expect before uterine fibroid embolization?
Before your UFE you will meet with a specially trained Interventional Radiologist at Imaging and Interventional Specialist, one who specializes in this treatment. You will have a thorough "work-up" including blood work and x-rays of your uterus. After reviewing these films and lab results with you, an experienced interventional radiologist specializing in uterine fibroid embolization will meet with you to discuss your treatment options.
What happens during uterine fibroid embolization?
If your specialist recommends this procedure for you, he or she will go over the consent form with you and answer any questions that you may have at that time. You should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the morning of the procedure. Your doctor places a catheter (a thin tube) through a small nick in your skin made by an ultrasound probe about 1/2 inch above your groin (upper thigh). Ultrasound is used to help guide the catheter into place near where your arteries enter the uterus. The catheter is guided up through blood vessels until it reaches one of these arteries where coils or particles are precisely released to block the arteries that carry blood to the fibroids.
Imaging & Interventional Specialists' "pinhole" UFE procedure: fast recovery, less risk, less pain, comfortable setting
Our experienced board-certified specialists successfully perform world-class, “pinhole” procedures every day offering this region's leading, state-of-the-art solutions to uterine fibroids. Our minimally invasive image-guided procedures are cutting-edge technology without the cutting, without a scalpel.
- Procedures are usually done in a comfortable outpatient setting with familiar friendly staff
- Pinhole procedures offer fast recovery, less risk, and less pain
Why choose Imaging & Interventional Specialists?
Imaging & Interventional Specialists are leaders in interventional radiology and experts in the minimally invasive procedures of precise, targeted embolization that will address your uterine fibroids and related symptoms.
Using state-of-the-art equipment, our experienced board-certified specialists are focused on your best outcome.
At Imaging & Interventional Specialists board-certified physicians offer in-house testing to determine the cause and develop an individualized treatment plan for your uterine fibroids.