Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment option for uterine fibroids

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What are uterine fibroids?

Fibroids are benign, noncancerous tumors of muscle that develop in or on the uterus wall, with sizes ranging from as small as a grape to as large as a cantaloupe. They are extremely common, occurring in up to one-third of all women.

What symptoms are caused by uterine fibroids?

• Heavy menstrual bleeding
• Periods lasting over a week
• Pelvic pressure or pain
• Leg pain

• Frequent urination
• Difficulty emptying the bladder
• Constipation
• Backache

• Heavy menstrual bleeding
• Periods lasting over a week
• Pelvic pressure or pain
• Leg pain
• Frequent urination
• Difficulty emptying the bladder
• Constipation
• Backache

What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?

UFE is an innovative, FDA-approved alternative to hysterectomy, which is the conventional invasive procedure typically used to treat uterine fibroids. This minimally invasive, outpatient procedure is part of a growing movement to reduce unnecessary hysterectomies performed each year.

While hysterectomy is a major surgery that results in 4-6 weeks of recovery, a UFE only creates a small incision in the groin, using a catheter to access the arteries supplying blood flow to the fibroid. This minimally invasive, outpatient procedure blocks the blood flow supplying the fibroid, effectively reducing the size and seriousness of the symptoms. Unlike other forms of treatment, only localized anesthetic and IV sedation are used.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for UFE?

Most patients with symptomatic fibroids are candidates for UFE.  Our interventional radiologists will determine whether or not you are a good candidate.

What is recovery like?

Soreness that tapers off over the week following the procedure is common.  This is due to the fibroids reacting to the lack of blood and nutrients, not due to infection. 

There are some general guidelines to follow after the procedure: Limited activity for 24 hours after the procedure after you have been released.  Generally, you should increase activity every day following the procedure.  Do not try and lift more than 10 lbs. for one week after the procedure.  Medication given for pain afterward should be taken when needed or by instruction.  Normal activity can resume as quickly as two days after the fibroid embolization.

You can typically return to work one week after the procedure.  Recovery time varies from patient to patient.

What do our patients have to say?

A recent article by Shine Online shares how one patient was able to avoid surgery and get back to walking in the park with her sister after a procedure with one of our interventional radiologists, Dr. Shahin, who performed her surgery at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

“All of my cycles since the procedure have been light, and my energy is back to normal.”

Read more here.

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