Uterine Artery Embolization & Imaging at a Glance

Uterine Fibroid Blog

The source for women's health and fibroids

Uterine Artery Embolization & Imaging at a Glance

Look inside to find a quick synopsis of the UAE procedure and the imaging used during the process.

Is an ultrasound used to find the uterine artery during the procedure? Have there been any cases where the PVA particles went to the wrong place?

An ultrasound is not used during fibroid embolization.  The ultrasound that you are referring to is done before the embolization procedure. The patient undergoes complete pelvic imaging, either ultrasound or MRI, to measure the size of the uterus and to look for any other conditions that might be affecting their health.

During the procedure, however, the first step in embolization requires a very small incision, about the size of a freckle, which is made in your upper thigh. This is done so that a tiny catheter can be inserted through this incision and into the femoral artery. Using x-ray guidance, a trained physician locates the feeder vessels which supply blood to each fibroid. Microscopic inert particles are injected into the vessels, blocking blood supply that nourishes the fibroid. Without a steady blood supply, the fibroids begin to dwindle and shrink. You can see the procedure performed live on our site at The Embolization Solution: See It Work.

Because physicians are able to use x-ray guidance to locate the exact vessels which supply the fibroids,  PVA particles are kept from going to the wrong place. Thus far we are unaware of particles escaping into the bloodstream and creating embolisms elsewhere.

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