Uterine Fibroid Embolization: Minimally-Invasive Fibroid Treatment
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus, made of muscle and fibrous tissue. They vary in size from small to large, and most women will develop one or more by age 50.
Symptoms vary from person to person but generally include heavy periods, pelvic pain, and fertility troubles. Not all women with fibroids experience symptoms.
Fibroid treatment options depend on the severity, size, and location of the fibroids and whether future fertility is desired.
While medications and monitoring may help manage symptoms, more severe cases might need targeted medical procedures to reduce symptoms for good.
While surgeries like myomectomy or hysterectomy could be necessary in some instances, most patients benefit from a non-surgical treatment called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
Let's explore more about UFE, including what it is, the benefits, and who is an ideal candidate for this minimally invasive procedure. Continue reading to learn more.
What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical way to treat problematic fibroids.
This procedure works by blocking the blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and eventually fade away.
UFE is an ideal alternative to traditional surgeries like hysterectomy or myomectomy.
During the procedure, an interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a tube to the arteries supplying the fibroids and introduces tiny particles blocking blood flow.
This cuts off blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrivel up and eliminate the symptoms while preserving the uterus.
The Benefits of UFE
There are many advantages to uterine fibroid embolization for fibroid treatment.
Compared to invasive surgery, UFE offers several benefits, such as a shorter recovery time, fewer complications, and preservation of the uterus. Since it is an outpatient procedure, patients can return home on the same day. It's performed under local anesthesia and moderate sedation. Most patients sleep through the entire procedure.
UFE is clinically successful in over 90% of patients. Studies have shown significant reductions in fibroid size, improved symptoms, and high patient satisfaction rates.
Other benefits of UFE include:
- Provides fast relief from symptoms
- Lower risk of complications compared to surgery
- No scarring
- Minimal downtime
- Widely covered by medical insurers
The bottom line? UFE is considered a safe and long-lasting alternative to surgery for many women with symptomatic fibroids.
Potential Challenges of Uterine Fibroid Embolization
While UFE is generally considered low risk, it's essential to consider potential side effects before the procedure.
Complications may involve:
- Unintended blockage of nearby blood vessels
- Uterus injury
- Passing of fibroids
- Premature menopause
Who Qualifies for Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Typically, individuals considered for UFE are those whose symptoms haven't improved with conservative treatments such as medication or hormonal therapy.
It's important to know that patients must be physically healthy before undergoing UFE. Health conditions like kidney disease, heart disease, and certain cancers might make a patient ineligible for UFE.
In addition, some patients may not be suitable for UFE, including those with the following:
- Asymptomatic fibroids
- Uterine, cervical, or ovarian cancer
- Vascular system disorders
- Compromised kidney function
Expert Fibroid Care You Can Trust in Dallas
You don't have to live with unrelenting fibroid symptoms.
The compassionate team at Dallas Fibroid Center provides advanced care for symptomatic fibroids. If you're facing distressing symptoms due to uterine fibroids, such as heavy bleeding, pain, or fertility issues, we can help.
Contact us to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with our team today.