If you’ve been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, you may have been told that surgery is your next step. The two most common uterine fibroid treatments are myomectomy (removing the fibroids) and hysterectomy (removing the entire uterus). For some women, surgical removal is actually the best possible treatment. But like many other women, it may be possible for you to avoid surgery. There’s a treatment option most women don’t know about… yet.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a revolutionary treatment in the management of uterine fibroids. For decades, this highly successful, minimally invasive procedure has offered relief from fibroid symptoms. The process of shrinking fibroids using UFE performed by an Interventional Radiologist, has made it possible to treat the non-cancerous tumors without surgery. If you’re experiencing the daily discomfort and disruption caused by uterine fibroids, you may benefit from uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
Five facts you need to know about UFE:
- UFE is a minimally invasive way to treat uterine fibroids.
- Patients have experienced complete relief of symptoms.
- Recovery time is shorter than the surgical options.
- Risk of complications is reduced.
- UFE saves the uterus from being removed.
“Being a Nurse Practitioner in Radiology, I saw many women go through this procedure with great success. When I developed symptoms, I knew that this would be the procedure that I would choose over any other treatment.” -Cindy Greenwood, NP-C
How does UFE work?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is performed through a tiny incision in the skin, usually less than a quarter inch at the groin (compared to the 5- to 7-inch incision of a traditional hysterectomy). The Interventional Radiologist guides a tiny catheter into the uterine arteries and releases tiny particles to block the blood flow into the fibroids. Once the blood supply is cut off, the fibroids are starved of oxygen and nutrients, causing them to shrink.
Side effects of uterine fibroid embolization
More good news—there are very few side effects or complications associated with uterine fibroid embolization. In fact, more than 90% of patients experience relief from excessive bleeding within the first or second menstrual cycle.
Following the procedure, you may have an overnight stay in the hospital for pain management, but that’s not always the case. In the first 24 hours after your procedure, you may experience uterine cramping, nausea, fatigue, or a low-grade fever.
Most patients begin to experience some relief of their symptoms within one to three days following UFE procedure. Over the next three to six months, the fibroids will continue to shrink and symptoms may continue to subside.
You’re interested in UFE. Now what?
If you think uterine fibroid embolization may be right for you, learn more about the procedure in this free guide. Then, your next step is to talk with your gynecologist. Your doctor may refer you to an Interventional Radiologist – the medical specialists who perform uterine fibroid embolization procedures. You can also contact our office directly to schedule a consultation.
Interventional Radiologists (IRs) are doctors who use their skills in reading medical images to guide treatments exactly where they are needed inside the body. IRs invented the use of angioplasty and stents to open blocked arteries. They also specialize in many other minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every major organ system. IRs are able to perform major surgical procedures from the inside out.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization in Fredericksburg
The Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Interventional Radiologists at Virginia Interventional and Vascular Associates (VIVA) have been pleased to offer UFE to our patients in the Fredericksburg community for over 20 years. The expertise you’ll find at VIVA will help you decide if uterine fibroid embolization is right for you.
Virginia Interventional and Vascular Associates (VIVA) is an AAAHC and IAC accredited Interventional Radiology and Vascular Surgery office located in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia. We can perform many same-day procedures in our office, without requiring a hospital stay. All of our doctors are Board Certified and Fellowship Trained in their specialty. They are supported by caring staff who are committed to the comfort and well-being of our patients.
If you would like to learn more about uterine fibroid embolization, download this free Guide to Uterine Fibroids and ask your gynecologist or other healthcare provider if Uterine Fibroid Embolization is right for you. At VIVA, we work with your healthcare team to provide the relief you deserve.