dp Uterine Fibroid Embolization | Non-Surgical Fibroids Treatment

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (non-surgical fibroid treatment) has existed as a medical procedure since 1975. In gynecology, it was used to reduce bleeding during uterine surgery. Founding members of the Fibroid Treatment Collective noticed another important effect. It shrank fibroids. The promise of an effective, non-invasive treatment for fibroids without surgery led to research, trials and medical acceptance. Today more than several hundred thousand women worldwide have found relief with this safe, simple procedure. The Fibroid Treatment Collective and its fibroid surgeons performed the very first uterine fibroid embolization in America and have authored many important articles on the subject.

“Honestly I would say if you have fibroids, please take control of your body, of your life, do the research, because there are options.”

UFE Success Rate

UFE  has an overall success rate of 94%. This means 94% of all patients who had the procedure experienced relief from their fibroid symptoms and significant fibroid shrinkage.

  • The majority of our embolization patients experienced immediate relief from heavy bleeding
  • Most experienced 50-60 percent shrinkage in fibroid size within 6 months
  • Half of our embolization patients under 40 years of age were able to conceive post-procedure
  • Nearly all of our embolization patients return to work in less than a week

The Procedure in Detail

Before fibroid embolization, every patient is thoroughly evaluated to ensure the procedure is appropriate for them. This includes a review of medical history, general physical condition, and any other information pertinent to the case.

Next, 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.

After embolization, patients are evaluated within the first week, again at six weeks and once more at six months to see how the fibroids are shrinking.

Fibroid Embolization Explained

Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a non-invasive, non-surgical, out-patient procedure. It is performed under local anesthetic and sedation and has a very quick recovery time. Most patients are back at work in a few days.

Live EmbolizationLive Uterine Artery Embolization

A very informative look at a real patient’s embolization from start to finish. » Watch Video

An incision the size of a freckle is made in the upper thigh. A tiny catheter is inserted through this incision and into the femoral artery. Using x-ray guidance, a trained physician locates the arteries which supply blood to each fibroid. Microscopic inert particles are injected into the vessels, blocking blood supply that nourishes the fibroid. Without a blood supply, the fibroids begin to dwindle and shrink.

Embolization basically cures fibroids without surgery by starving them.

Why should you undergo a UFE procedure?

Most women choose to undergo a UFE procedure in order to reduce the side effects associated with uterine fibroids. Besides pain, some of the common side effects of uterine fibroids include spotting, irregular menstruation, heavy menstruation, irregular uterine bleeding, cramping, and a distended abdomen. Less common side effects of uterine fibroids include pressure in the pelvis, constipation, frequent urination, and leg pains. Pains from uterine fibroids tend to afflict the abdomen, the pelvis, and the lower back. In some cases, uterine fibroids also result in painful menstruation.

Sometimes, depending on their size and location, uterine fibroids can lead to infertility or pregnancy complications. While these negative effects are fairly rare, many women prefer to be safe than sorry when it comes to their well-being and the health of their unborn child. Women with uterine fibroids who hope to conceive are advised to either treat the fibroids or have children early. This is because uterine fibroids can grow in size throughout a woman’s life. At a later age, the uterine fibroids may be large enough to impact fertility. However, uterine fibroids tend to decrease in size once a women enters menopause.

Benefits of UFE Procedures

The benefits of UFE procedures convince many women to undergo this procedure rather than others that are also designed to serve as treatment for uterine fibroids. Some of the many advantages of UFE procedures are as follows:

  • No blood loss
  • Preservation to the uterus organ
  • Decrease in dysfunction of the urinary system
  • Decrease in pain
  • Reduction of heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Covered by the vast majority of insurance companies
  • Recovery time is quick, allowing patients to leave the hospital sooner and return to work faster
  • Results in fewer complications than other procedures, such as a hysterectomy
  • A safe procedure with minimal risk

Essentially, there are many advantages of UFE procedures and very few disadvantages, which is why this option is appealing for so many women.

Minimal Effects Of UFE

Embolization is a minimally invasive and very safe procedure, but some side effects and risks are associated. Post-procedure cramping is the most common but usually controlled by pain-killers. Other side effects include:

  • Nausea and fever in 1% of patients
  • Infection leading to hysterectomy in less than .1% of patients
  • Artery injury in less than .1%
  • Early menopause in less than 4%
  • The possible passage of fibroid vaginally in 2%
  • Non-target embolization, extremely rare

Learn more about the advantages of Uterine Fibroids Embolization

Embolization Animation VideoAnimation of Uterine Artery Embolization

Visual animation explaining fibroids and a uterine fibroid embolization procedure. » Watch Video

Michelle ended fibroids. And her fear of early menopause.

It (fibroids) affected my mood, my energy, I just couldn’t seem to have enough energy to do some of the things that I wanted to do with my children and my spouse

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