Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-invasive procedure used to treat fibroid tumors. This procedure is a less-invasive approach to hysterectomy or myomectomy that results in less time in the hospital and less time off of work. Fibroid tumors cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvic region, and pressure on the bladder or bowel.
During the UFE procedure, physicians use an x-ray camera called a fluoroscope to guide the delivery of small particles to the uterus and fibroids. The small particles are injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. These block the arteries that provide blood flow, causing the fibroids to shrink. Nearly 90 percent of women with fibroids experience relief of their symptoms.
Is UFE right for me?
You will need to meet with an interventional radiologist who will discuss the procedure with you and determine if you would be a good candidate for the procedure. Before the procedure, you will need an MRI of your uterus and recent blood work to determine if the procedure will be safe to perform and indicated. If you have irregular periods with bleeding in between periods, you may need an endometrial biopsy from your gynecologist.
What should I expect?
You will be in a procedure room that looks similar to an operating room with an x-ray camera in the center. You will receive moderate sedation for the procedure, you will not need general anesthesia. After numbing up an area in the groin, your radiologist will place a small tube in an artery in your groin. Through the tube, your radiologist will place a smaller catheter into the arteries supplying the uterus. Through this catheter, the radiologist will inject particles to block off the small blood vessels feeding the uterus and the fibroids. Once this is completed, the tube is removed, and you will need to lay flat for 6 hours. You will experience crampy abdominal pain which can be treated with IV painkillers. This typically improves by the next morning.
You will be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation and pain control and should be able to leave the next day.
You should plan on up to a 2 week recovery period, though the vast majority of women return to work within 7-10 days.
Up to 10% of women may see their periods temporarily stop. Up to 3% of women under the age of 45 may see their periods permanently stop, while up to 15% of women over the age of 45 may see their periods permanently stop.
Schedule This Procedure
Mount Carmel New Albany Surgical Hospital
Mount Carmel St. Ann's
Mount Carmel East
Mount Carmel West