Many women who have fibroids do not have any symptoms. For those who do, the fibroids may need to be treated to reduce symptoms and pain. In the past, treatment usually involved surgery – removing the uterus through a hysterectomy, or removing the fibroids from the uterus through a myomectomy.
While these options are generally effective, they require general anesthesia and lengthy recovery times, and they carry the risk of surgical complications. Many women are not candidates for a myomectomy because of the size, number, or location of their fibroids. Fibroids commonly recur after myomectomy.
Today, a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization, may be used to treat fibroids. It is a minimally invasive procedure in which the blood flow of the uterus is intentionally reduced, causing the fibroid tumors to shrink. It alleviates or improves fibroid symptoms 90% of the time.
The embolization procedure is performed by making a tiny nick in the skin in the groin and inserting a tube, known as a catheter, into the femoral artery. Using X-ray imaging, the catheter is guided through the arterial system and into the arteries supplying the uterus. Tiny particles, the size of grains of sand, are then injected into the arteries to block the blood flow to the uterine fibroid.
Our doctors perform uterine fibroid embolization in our beautiful, state-of-the art outpatient facility without the need for hospitalization. The doctors will prescribe pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs following the procedure to treat cramping and pain. Many women resume light activities in a few days and the majority of women are able to return to normal activities within seven to ten days.