Breaking Down Fibroid Embolization: A Non-Surgical Solution to Uterine Fibroids

Apr 12, 2023
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The Uterine Fibroid Embolization procedure, or UFE, is one of the most advanced non-surgical treatments for uterine fibroids. It's a minimally invasive procedure done in office that takes about an hour. Read more about Uterine Fibroid Embolization below:

The Uterine Fibroid Embolization Procedure, Or UFE, Is a Minimally Invasive Treatment For Fibroids

The UFE procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids. It's done in office, and takes about an hour. We may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain relievers before your appointment if you are experiencing menstrual cramps or other discomfort.

The UFE procedure involves injecting tiny particles into your pelvic veins that block blood flow to the fibroid tumors, causing them to shrink or disappear entirely within three months (the average). While this result may sound miraculous, it's important to note that not all women see lasting results from UFE--in fact, some continue having symptoms after treatment ends! If you're looking for more permanent relief from uncomfortable symptoms caused by uterine fibroids (such as heavy bleeding), we recommend exploring other options such as surgery or radiation therapy before deciding whether embolization is right for you."

The UFE Procedure Is Done In Office, And Takes About An Hour

The UFE procedure is done in office, and takes about an hour. You can expect to be in the office for up to two hours.

We May Recommend That You Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers Before The Procedure

If you have a history of heart or respiratory problems, we may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain relievers before the procedure. You can use these pain pills with food or milk to reduce stomach upset. Please note that these medications are not addictive and do not cause drowsiness. However, if you have been prescribed any other medication for your fibroids, make sure it does not interfere with how this medication works in your body.

If my doctor recommends taking painkillers before my procedure, how long should I wait until getting them filled?

What To Expect During The UFE Procedure From Start to Finish

You will lie on your back with your hips in a cradle or on a table to keep your legs straight during the procedure. The doctor may ask you to stay still and breathe normally, but you will be able to move if needed.

A local anesthetic will be injected into the area around your uterus. This will numb the area and prevent any pain during treatment, but it will not affect your ability to have children or feel pressure and movement.

First, we'll insert an endoscope into your vagina and up through your cervix into the uterus to see where the fibroids are located and how big they are. The endoscope is a slender tube with a light and camera at the end that allows us to see inside of you. It's not painful because it's small and flexible, but you may feel pressure as it goes through different parts of your body.

Next, we'll inject special microspheres containing a liquid gel into each of the fibroids using our needleless technique and sonographic guidance from MRIs or other imaging studies that show their location in your body.

Needleless injection means no needles are used during this procedure. It's called minimally invasive because it involves small incisions through which the doctor inserts instruments to perform the surgery without making large openings in your body (like open surgery). Needleless injection is also known as embolization because it involves blocking blood flow to target tissues by injecting them with particles (emboli) that will block arteries and other structures within them. In this case, we're using microspheres made out of polyvinyl alcohol--they dissolve over time as they break down inside vessels or organs like tumors or cysts causing them to shrink away until they disappear completely!

Once all of the microspheres have been injected into each of your fibroids, we'll turn off our ultrasound machine so that we don't mistake it for blood vessels when we apply our contrast dye to show us where the microspheres are located inside the uterus behind its walls in real time during the procedure (we still use MRI scans before and after).

The contrast dye will then be injected into your uterus and allowed to circulate around for about 10 minutes. During this time, an MRI scan will be performed to visualize any remaining large or multiple fibroid tumors that could not be treated with embolization alone--if these are found and removed surgically at this point, there's no need for additional surgery later on down the road!

After about 10 minutes passes since injecting contrast into your body cavity via IV line (which may feel like a long time but isn't really), we'll take another look at everything using ultrasound imaging equipment so that no remaining large tumors go undetected while also making sure all microspheres have been successfully dispersed throughout their respective sites within each individual mass itself rather than just floating around aimlessly inside blood vessels near those areas instead.


The UFE procedure is a great option for women with Fibroids who want to avoid surgery and its associated risks. We're happy to answer any questions you may have about this non-surgical treatment for uterine fibroids, contact us today to schedule your appointment!