Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroids are common in women of childbearing age. Nearly one in five women in the U.S. have benign fibroid tumors that grow in the muscular wall of the uterus (womb). For many women, symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pelvic pain and frequent urination can make life difficult.

An alternative to surgery:

Traditional treatment for fibroids include a myomectomy or hysterectomy and involve major surgery. But this isn't for everyone. More and more, women are turing to uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) as an alternative to surgery. UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that significantly reduces fibroid symptoms. The procedure blocks blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink.

Experts in UFE:

UFE is performed by a board-certified interventional radiologist. The procedure involves:

  • Anesthesia: You are awake but sedated to reduce pain and help you relax.
  • Reaching the fibroid: The physician makes a tiny incision in your groin or upper thigh. Next, a catheter (a thin flexible tube) is inserted through your blood vessels and up to where the fibroid is.
  • Blocking the blood flow: Tiny particles made of plastic or gelatin are injected into the artery feeding the fibroid tumor. This effectively blocks the blood flow to the fibroid.
  • Recovery: After spending some time in supervised recovery, you will likely be able to go home the next day. Pain associated with UFE typically lasts two to seven days. As the fibroid begins to shrink, you will experience relief from symptoms over the next several months.

Since fibroids can grow back, our specialists will recommend diet and lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of your fibroids returning. Fortunately, fibroids tend to shrink on their own after menopause.

Talk with your Mercy primary care doctor or gynecologist today. No matter the situation, our specialists will deliver the expert care you need so you can live life to the fullest.

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