Posts Tagged ‘ embolization ’

Can Fibroids Damage Your Kidneys?


Uterine fibroids are typically known for creating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, however depending on location and size, they can also present less common problems. For a small percentage of women, fibroids can negatively affect the health of their kidneys.

Fibroids and Kidney Pain

Although fibroids are made of muscle tissue found in the uterus, they can outgrow the space within the uterine walls and expand to a size large enough to affect the ureter. The ureter is the tube that connects the bladder and the kidney. When fibroids down on the ureter, the kidneys swell and develop a condition known as hydronephrosis.

Hydronephrosis is often associated with painful urination, an increased urge to urinate, as well as flank and back pain. In more severe cases, permanent kidney damage may also occur. If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect your kidneys may be at risk due to your fibroids, consult with your doctor immediately. Urine and blood tests can show whether your kidneys are functioning properly or at risk.

Fibroid Treatment

For those experiencing kidney complications due to fibroids, removal is essential to alleviate these symptoms. While fibroid surgery like a hysterectomy and myomectomy are commonly utilized, a less invasive procedure such as uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) gets the job done without the scars or trauma associated with surgery.

Fibroid embolization works by shrinking the enlarged fibroid that is pressing down on the ureter and affecting the kidneys. By shrinking the fibroid instead of removing it, patients experience a quick and effective procedure with no chance of fibroid regrowth. While the likelihood of uterine fibroids affecting your kidneys is extremely rare, taking the risk is never the answer. If you have noticed fibroid symptoms, learn more about living fibroid-free with embolization by contacting us at: (866) 479-1523.

What is Fibroid Embolization Infographic

What is Fibroid Embolization

Uterine artery embolization is a non-invasive, non-surgical, out-patient procedure. It is performed under local anesthetic with sedation and has a quick recovery time. We’ve created the following infographic to help explain what fibroid embolization is and how it is done.

We hope you find this informative and helpful. Please share with your friends and family to help spread awareness of embolization and fibroids.



The Fibroid epidemic in black women

Fibroids in Black Women

Fibroids affect more than 40% of women, occurring 3 times more in black women. In fact, studies show that fibroids actually occur more frequently and at younger ages in black women than in women of any other race. For many of these women, younger onset and larger fibroids can lead to very severe symptoms of bleeding and pain.

Some may wonder if this disproportionate effect on black women is the result of genetics, or the social inequities in the US healthcare system. It is no secret that many minority groups do not have the same access to healthcare and insurance in the US, despite the recent improvements in healthcare coverage. What is even more problematic is that there is no free way to fix fibroids, such as lifestyle changes or taking a magic pill. It is true that a healthy diet and exercise can have positive impacts on overall well-being, but once fibroids have grown to a large enough size to cause problems, they do not shrink.

Furthermore, more African American women are not offered minimally invasive procedures to treat fibroids, such as fibroid embolization, and undergo unnecessary hysterectomies. Making sure you know and understand your options, and where to find treatment for specific situation with fibroids is important. Listed below are a few tips for finding fibroid treatment that’s right for you.

  1. Stop fibroids and start living. Take your health into your hands, without treatment the problem will not go away.
  2. Research your different options for treatment
  3. Find a doctor you are comfortable with
  4. Find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and stress maintainence
  5. Ask your doctor and insurance company about the financial aspects of treatment, they can help you find a treatment within your financial means

For more information please visit

The Fibroid Treatment Collective (FTC) based in Beverly Hills offers women a minimally noninvasive alternative to a hysterectomy to treat uterine fibroids. Founder of the FTC, Dr. Bruce McLucas, was one of the pioneers of the procedure called the Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) that helps women maintain their fertility and removing symptoms caused by fibroids. For additional information, please visit or call our toll free 866.362.6463 to learn more and schedule a consultation.


Hormonal Changes After Fibroid Embolization

Want to avoid the hormonal swings associated with traditional fibroid surgeries? Look to UFE!

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical procedure that cuts off the blood supply to the fibroids. The procedure does not include the ovaries in the process, which means that the ovaries are often not affected by the procedure.

There are very few accounts of women that experience hormonal changes as a result of  UFE, with the exception of the small percentage of women that experience early menopause as a result of the procedure. Most women will not experience hormonal changes or depression, both of which are common with hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) patients. Women that are approaching the age of menopause, however, may be more likely to start menopause after UFE.

Learn more about fibroids and Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling 866-362-6463 or by requesting a free phone consultation. Additionally, you can find us on Twitter @fibroiddoctor and on Facebook at

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization and Sex

Want to find out about the effects of UFE on your sexual desire? Read here to find out the inside scoop about this topic!

Will UFE affect my sexual response?

Most patients report either no change or improvement in their sexual desire and response after Uterine Artery Embolization. Women that experience pain during sex, which can sometimes be a result of the presence of fibroids, usually experience an improvement in this area.

Some women experience intense, pleasurable contractions during orgasm.  This occurrence is called internal orgasm (different from clitoral orgasm) and a few have noted a decrease in this response after the procedure. The exact reason for this is uncertain but may be related to an injury of nerves supplying the cervix. Concerns about effects of UFE on sexuality should be discussed with your Interventional Radiologist during the initial consultation.

Learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling 866-362-64633 or by requesting a free phone consultation. Additionally, you can find us on Twitter @fibroiddoctor and on Facebook at

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Fibroids Post-Embolization

Ever wondered what happens to your fibroids after the UFE procedure? Read on to find out what happens to these myomas and which types may put you at greater risk for post-complications.

What happens to fibroids when they are embolized? Do they merely shrink, or do they “fall off” in some way?

After losing their blood supply, fibroids lose their fluid content and they are removed by the body. In time they undergo a process of fibrosis, and lose their ability to grow again. The overall effect is that the fibroid shrinks but does not become detached and “fall off”. However, in some cases, when treating pedunculated fibroids ( fibroids that are stalked from the uterus) there is a possibility that they can eventually “fall off” into the pelvis and cause some complications. Embolizing a pedunculated fibroid may disrupt the stalk, thereby releasing the fibroid into either the subserosal or submucosal cavity.

Disrupting the stalk of a pedunculated subserosal fibroid can result in the fibroid’s release. This development can potentially cause chemical peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane that lines the abdomen), leading to prolonged pain after embolization. This risk of stalk disruption has led some interventional radiologiests (IRs) to evaluate the width of the fibroid’s attachment to the uterus before considering a patient as a UFE candidate. Recommendations have varied, but a stalk width greater than one-third to one-half the diameter of the fibroid is considered acceptable to most IRs. These recommendations are based on the idea that safety increases directly with the width of the stalk. At the present time, however, no studies have been performed to back these criteria.

When submucosal pedunculated fibroids lose their attachment to the uterus, they are at increased risk for expulsion from the uterus. Although expulsion is usually not associated with clinically significant complications, uterine obstruction can occur if the fibroid does not completely pass through the cervix. In this case, other procedures may be required to remove retained tissue, which may otherwise become secondarily infected leading to other secondary complications of the uterus.

Learn more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization online, or contact us directly by calling (866) 479-1523 or by requesting a free phone consultation.


History of Uterine Artery Embolization

Find out about the history of Uterine Artery Embolization and how Dr. McLucas was instrumental in its initial use in the United States!

Are UAE and UFE the same thing? And how long has the procedure been around?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) are two names for the same procedure and can be used interchangeably. Since the actual procedure entails the blocking or “embolization” of the uterine artery, UAE is probably a more appropriate term.

Embolization of the uterine artery has been used as a treatment for severe uterine bleeding during surgery or childbirth for some time. However, this procedure was initially used in fibroid patients as a method of decreasing the blood loss that occurs during myomectomy, but it was later discovered that after the embolization, many patient’s symptoms went away and surgery was no longer needed.

After making this stark discovering, UAE was then used as a treatment specifically for fibroids in France in the early 1990’s and Dr. Bruce McLucas was the first person to pioneer the use of this procedure for fibroid treatment in the United States in 1995.

For more information on fibroids or UAE, please give us a call at 866-296-9244 or request a free phone consultation.

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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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Uterine Artery Embolization & Imaging at a Glance

Mentrual Cycles and Fibroid Embolization

Still want to keep your fertility options open and want to continue having your period? The UFE procedure strives to rid symptoms associated with fibroids, while allowing women to maintain their cycles.

Will I still have menstrual periods after I have the embolization procedure?

Generally speaking, approximately 95% of women will continue to have menstrual periods after Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Roughly 5% of women in one published study did enter menopause after UFE, but the reason for this is not clear. It may have been coincidental, but there is also a small possibility that some of the injected particles caused a reduction of blood flow to the ovaries. Additionally, if you are reaching the typical age range in which most women experience menopause, there is a possibility that you may enter menopause, but often times this is not caused by the procedure itself, but rather a natural phenomenon that is unavoidable.

At any rate, most women continue to have their periods and are often happy to find that they no longer experience the burdensome symptoms that they experienced prior to UFE.  After UFE periods are often much lighter, less painful, and quite manageable.  UFE patients are usually very satisfied and come out of the procedure with the advantage of having normal menstrual cycles, leaving their fertility options open.

To learn more about fibroids and the embolization procedure, please feel free to contact the Fibroid Treatment Collective at 866-362-6463 or request a free phone consultation.  We would love to help you answer any additional questions that you might have or help you find out of UFE is an option you would like to explore!

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