What is UFE?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a nonsurgical procedure that blocks blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and alleviate associated symptoms
A tiny tube called a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery at the top of the leg or into the radial artery accessed through the wrist. The patient is under sedation or in a ‘twilight sleep’ during the procedure.
- The catheter is then guided into the left and right uterine artery using x-ray and a contrast dye to visualize and map the arteries feeding the fibroids.
- Tiny embolic particles are then injected through the catheter and into the uterine arteries that feed the fibroids, cutting off their blood supply
- With the blood supply blocked, the fibroids begin to shrink, but the uterus and ovaries are spared
Advantages of the Embolization Technique
- The uterus is spared
- No Incision or Scar
- Less Risk than surgery
- Quicker recovery time (1-2 weeks vs 6 weeks for Surgery)
- Treat the Entire Uterus and Multiple fibroids at once
The whole procedure usually lasts about 30-45 minutes with a 2-hour recovery. After the procedure, patients can return home on the same day. Patients can be moderately active immediately after the procedure and return to full activity after 7 day
- Up to 25% of all women may be affected by symptomatic uterine fibroids and up to 30-40% in
perimenopausal aged women
- African American women are at an increased risk for fibroids
- Symptoms can begin as early as 14 years old
- Experts do not fully understand what causes fibroids