Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on or within the lining of the uterus. They can range in size from as small as a grape to as large as a cantaloupe. Approximately 20-40% of women over age 35 have fibroids, and African-American women are at a much higher risk for developing them.
Fibroids can cause pelvic pain or discomfort, urinary incontinence, frequent urination and heavy menstrual bleeding. The location and size of uterine fibroids can affect the severity of these symptoms and impact your quality of life. Fibroids are also hormonally sensitive, so the symptoms can be cyclical, just like with menstruation.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is gaining popularity as an effective alternative to hysterectomy. This safe, FDA-approved procedure is a proven and minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids. It’s performed in less than an hour, requires no anesthesia and only a small nick in the skin. Patients return home within 24 hours and experience a much faster recovery.
Our board-certified interventional radiologists are among the most experienced in the region at performing this procedure. We use X-ray and ultrasound guidance to thread a small catheter through your body to the site of the blood vessel feeding the fibroids. The vessel is then blocked, causing the fibroids to shrink and reduce the symptoms they are causing.
Women who undergo UFE have demonstrated a high level of satisfaction and a significant improvement to their quality of life over the long term.1,2 In a recent study of four randomized clinical trials comparing UFE to surgical interventions, UFE was associated with less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and a faster return to work.3
- Smith WJ, Upton E, Shuster EJ, Klein AJ, Schwartz ML. Patient satisfaction and disease specific quality of life after uterine artery embolization. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;190(6):1697–1703.
- Scheurig-Muenkler C, Koesters C, Powerski MJ, Grieser C, Froeling V, Kroencke TJ. Clinical long-term outcome after uterine artery embolization: sustained symptom control and improvement of quality of life. J VascIntervRadiol. 2013;24(6):765–771.
- Laughlin SK, Schroeder JC, Baird DD. New directions in the epidemiology of uterine fibroids.