Uterine fibroid embolization is an image guided, minimally invasive treatment for benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the uterus known as fibroids.
This procedure is performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist as a non-surgical way to reduce the symptoms related to fibroids. During the procedure an x-ray camera called a fluoroscope is inserted into the uterus to help guide a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through the groin to inject an embolic agent into the arteries that supply blood to the uterus and fibroids causing the fibroids to shrink. As the fibroids die and begin to shrink, the uterus fully recovers.
Following the procedure, 90-95% of women with fibroids experience relief of their symptoms and can usually resume normal activities several weeks sooner than a hysterectomy. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a minimally invasive treatment using the latest in medical technology that allows women to save their uterine and have complete relief of their symptoms.
The UFE procedure is also sometimes referred to as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE); however, UAE is used for conditions other than fibroids and has been used for decades to stop severe pelvic bleeding caused by trauma, malignant gynecological tumors, hemorrhaging after childbirth, and hysterectomy (removal of the whole uterus).
About the Procedure
Prior to the UFE procedure, patients will be required to provide a full medical summary that includes current medications (if any), vital signs such as blood pressure/heart rate, a lifestyle questionnaire, and more. This information is used to provide individualized care based on a patient’s specific health needs. Patients will also be instructed to fast (no food or liquid after 12 pm) the night before surgery. It is very important to refrain from eating or drinking liquids prior to a procedure that requires local or general anesthetic to prevent complications.
On the day of the procedure, patient vital signs are monitored and sedation is administered for optimum relaxation and comfort. As the contrast material passes through the body, a warm feeling occurs. This is normal and painless. Once the procedure is complete, oral pain medication will be given to the patient to control their discomfort and the patient will return home the same day of the procedure.
Following the procedure, women will return home with a prescription for pain medication. Pain usually ends within a day or two, but discomfort can last up to a week. Dr. Tilara will likely schedule a follow-up exam within four weeks of the procedure.
Dr. Tilara is a highly trained physician that specializes in uterine fibroid embolization and thus allowing patients to return to their everyday lives symptom free as quickly as possible.