Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Being told you have uterine fibroids can be devastating, but did you know there is a minimally-invasive option for treatment? According to Johns Hopkins University, nine out of ten individuals who undergo the procedure have a dramatic improvement in their symptoms and a decrease in size of their uterine fibroids. Following embolization, fibroids starve and shrink in a manner not unlike the natural way fibroids shrink after menopause.
What is uterine fibroid embolization?
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally-invasive alternative to hysterectomy or myomectomy. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist, requires minimal or no hospital stay, and a quicker recovery. In this procedure, blood supply to the fibroid tumors is blocked, making them shrink.
What happens during UFE?
During UFE, a thin tube, called a catheter, is inserted through a blood vessel in the leg or wrist and guided by X-ray images to the blood vessels that feed the fibroids of the uterus. Tiny particles are injected to stop blood flow to the fibroids to cut off their food supply. Once blood flow to the fibroids is blocked, patients return home while the fibroids shrink gradually over the next weeks and months.
What does the recovery after UFE look like?
It typically takes a week to 10 days to recover from embolization. Pelvic pain and pressure from the procedure is very common in the first few days after UFE. Fevers, chills, and decreased energy levels such as you would experience with a cold or flu are typical.