Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)
A Nonsurgical Alternative to Hysterectomy
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a procedure that saves many women from surgery and the lengthy recovery involved with hysterectomy. It eliminates uterine fibroids by interrupting the blood supply to the fibroid tumor. The procedure has been in use for over 20 years to treat heavy bleeding after childbirth.
Advantages of UFE over hysterectomy include:
- No scar
- Non-surgical localized treatment results in less risk for internal post operative bleeding and scarring
- No disruption to the patient’s overall health Spares tissue by destroying fibroids without removing the uterus
- Shorter recovery time, allows resumption of normal activities within a week, rather than six weeks
- Typically requires a shorter hospital stay of one night
- Has a high success rate with 85% - 90% of women reporting relief of symptoms and low rate of recurrence without resorting to surgery
- Does not require general anesthesia
Who Performs the Procedure?
Our interventional radiologists perform this procedure. Interventional radiologists are physicians with an additional 4 - 6 years of specialized training to perform interventional procedures like UFE. Their specialty revolves around using imaging to guide them in performing procedures that eliminate the need for invasive surgeries.
Is UFE Right for You?
If you meet the below criteria and a hysterectomy has been recommended, it’s important to get a second opinion from an interventional radiologist. You will need to be seen to confirm if UFE will be an option. The ideal candidate for UFE:
Does not desire to get pregnant in the future Has symptoms caused by fibroid tumors Is not pregnant
A Patient’s Perspective:
I Got Better, Quicker
“I wanted to share my experience with Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) and Advanced Radiology Services in hopes that other women are able to benefit from their advantages like I did. I had a severe bleeding problem that escalated to the point where I would bleed for weeks at a time when I got my period.
When my gynecologist advised that a hysterectomy was the only solution, I searched for additional options. I know women who have had hysterectomies and they had a rough time of it. The length of recovery was a concern for me, taking six weeks off would be a significant hardship and I was trying to weigh the risks of waiting to get treatment versus the impact it would have on my family if I was out of commission for that long. Meanwhile, my health was worsening.
Then I heard about interventional radiologists and a procedure they perform called UFE. I decided to get a second opinion to see if this might be a better solution for me, it was.
Before the procedure, I was given medication that made me comfortable, relaxed and sleepy. The actual treatment took about an hour and afterwards, I was on bed rest for six hours. I stayed in the hospital overnight and had cramping which I was given pain medication for. By the next morning, I was feeling much better and went home.
After about 5 days, I was back to my normal routine and all of my symptoms were gone within two months.
Being able to keep my uterus by having UFE instead of a hysterectomy was emotionally, physically and financially the right choice for me. I would recommend seeking out more information about this procedure to any woman who has been told she needs a hysterectomy due to fibroid tumors. Thank you Advanced Radiology Services for making this difficult time for me easier and giving me a solution that kept my body whole.”
Actual Advanced Radiology Services Patient