Uterine Fibroid Embolozation (UFE)
UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the blood flow in the vessels that feed the uterine fibroids. An outpatient nonsurgical option that allows a woman to keep her uterus.
The doctor makes a small puncture in the upper thigh, which can be sealed with a band-aid. A catheter is inserted through the uterine artery. Violation of blood flow using a special solution leads to the death of the fibroid node.
Lack of risks, does not require anesthesia, no relapse, highest efficiency, full recovery within a week after the procedure.
What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) – is a minimally invasive nonsurgical procedure for the treatment of uterine fibroids, which reduces the risks of complications and relapse of the disease to almost zero, allowing a woman to return to her usual life back in a short time, preserving the patient’s fully functioning uterus, and the ability to become pregnant and bear a child.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a very safe procedure, the risk of any complications is several times lower than after surgical treatment and does not exceed 1%. According to a series of studies, complications after UFE arise about 20 times less often than after any surgical treatment of uterine fibroids.
How is Uterine Fibroid Embolization Done?
UFE is performed by a radiologist in a specially equipped X-ray room.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a painless procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. The only gentle painful effect is the puncture of the right common femoral artery.
After preliminary local anesthesia, through a small (1.5 mm) puncture of the skin in the upper thigh, a thin catheter (1.2 mm) is inserted into the artery, which is carried out directly into the uterine arteries under the control of X-ray television. Then, a solution with tiny embolic agents is injected through the catheter, it blocks the vessels that feed the fibroids. The patient leaves the radiologist’s cabinet only with a band-aid.
It is important to note that the embolization solution is absolutely safe and cannot cause allergic reactions.
The total duration of the procedure depends on the experience of the doctor – on average it is 30-45 minutes.
Next, the patient is transferred to the ward, where she is given analgesic therapy. 2.5 hours after the procedure, a woman can bend her legs, after 6-7 hours, get out of bed and eat.
Despite its apparent simplicity, UFE is a technically complex procedure that requires a highly qualified radiologist and narrow professional knowledge (including in the field of X-ray anatomy of the uterus and pelvic organs), special care and high accuracy. This largely determines the success of UFE and the minimal risk of negative consequences.
Although uterine fibroid embolization is a painless procedure, after 1-2 hours pulling pains occur in the lower abdomen. These sensations are the result of ischemia of fibroid cells and it reflects the effectiveness of the procedure. The pain lasts only a few hours and can be stopped with painkillers.
Also, the temperature may increase in the first days after UFE. Weakness and a feeling of malaise are possible, too.
The full recovery period usually lasts 3-4 days. After that, a woman can continue her usual lifestyle, but without unpleasant symptoms of uterine fibroids.
In the first weeks after the procedure, doctors recommend:
– increase the amount of fluid consumed;
– do not visit the sauna and refuse hot baths for several weeks;
– observe sexual rest for 1 month;
– avoid strong physical activity for 1 month.
The first menstruation after uterine fibroid embolization can be painful, with the release of blood clots. Then everything will return to normal. The volume of bleeding will decrease, the cycle will become regular.
A decrease in the volume of the uterus and fibroid nodes can be fixed after a month.
After this period, the UFE does not impose any restrictions on further life of a woman. She can continue to work, play sports, maintain sexual activity and try to conceive a child six months after the procedure. Dozens of women have already become mothers after the UFE.
Every day, more and more women choose UFE for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Among them are many celebrities such as Cynthia Bailey, Sara Bareilles, and Teresa Edwards.
The long-awaited miracle of being fibroid-free becomes a reality after choosing the right treatment option.
Who Is The Candidate For Iterine Fibroid Embolization?
Any woman can have uterine fibroid embolization, regardless of the size of the tumor and the number of nodes.
There are some cases in which UFE is the only method for the effective treatment of uterine fibroids with minimal consequences. For example, in relapses after myomectomy.
Embolization is also indicated in a situation where there are many nodes and they are located in areas difficult to access for surgery.
The procedure also allows patients with heart disease and respiratory failure, which are contraindicated in abdominal surgery.
The radiologist decides on the appropriateness of the procedure, taking into account related factors: the age of the patient; severity of symptoms, their nature; the size of nodes and their localization; upward trend in nodes; the woman’s intention to become pregnant in the future, etc.
If you have been diagnosed with fibroids and are experiencing symptoms, please call Atlanta Fibroid Center at (770) 691-1108 or make an appointment online to learn more about uterine fibroid embolization.