Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a non-surgical option for the treatment of symptoms caused by uterine fibroids.
What Are Fibroids
Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are benign tumors of the uterus that can grow during a woman’s childbearing years. They are made up of smooth muscle and connective tissue. Fibroids grow because of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Elevated levels of these hormones, such as those encountered with multiple pregnancies, can worsen symptoms of uterine fibroids by feeding their growth. Fibroids affect a large portion of pre-menopausal women
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids
The most common symptom of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding during a woman’s period, sometimes leading to anemia requiring transfusions. They can also cause pelvic and lower back pain or size-related symptoms such as bloating or pressure on the bladder. About half of the women with these issues are unaware that another option exists outside of surgery.
Embolization Treatment for Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is also known as UFE. UFE has been performed for over 30 years and is safe. UFE proven alternative to surgery that provides long term relief from the pain and inconvenience caused by fibroids. It is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR) and can be done in an office as an outpatient. A patient will undergo an x-ray dye study to locate the arteries of the uterus and the fibroids. Those arteries will then be selectively injected with a solution containing very small plastic particles to block off most of the blood supply to the fibroids. Over the next 4-6 months, the fibroids will shrink, become nonviable, or die off. Symptom relief comes much earlier, within the first month after the procedure.
Advantages Uterine Fibroid Embolization
One main advantage of UFE over other options is the ability to have the procedure done in an office as an outpatient with a much shorter recovery time. On average, recovery takes about a week. The embolization does not involve a large incision. In fact, the entire procedure is performed through a small pinhole access site at the wrist or groin. UFE boasts one of the highest clinical success rates for fibroid treatment, around 90%, with fewer complications. It also avoids some of the long-term risks associated with hysterectomy.
At Summit IR, we are passionate about providing the best care to women suffering from uterine fibroid disease. We have treated many women and have a curated outpatient protocol to ensure you are as comfortable as possible while getting rid of your fibroids.