Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are common benign masses that can be found in both young and older women. They are likely caused by genetic and hormonal factors and produce symptoms based on size and where they are located in the uterus. Fibroids can cause excessive menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain or fullness, frequent urination, pain with intercourse, and sometimes result in difficulty with pregnancy.  Treatment for symptomatic fibroids can be done with hysterectomy, myomectomy or Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE).

Am I a candidate for Uterine Fibroid Treatment?

If you have any of the symptoms associated with fibroids you should consult with your gynecologist.  If you know you want to explore UFE please feel free to contact us directly for a consultation as well.  An initial evaluation by your physician will utilize ultrasound imaging and often MRI imaging to determine if treatment is appropriate and which type of therapy would be most effective. Many women are appropriate candidates for treatment and UFE can provide an effective and safe alternative option to surgery in many cases.

If there are plans to become pregnant, we encourage patients to discuss this with their gynecologist.  It may be that surgical removal of a single fibroid will improve the chances of a successful pregnancy. UFE may still be an option but less information is available to determine the chances of a successful pregnancy following the procedure.

What can I expect from a Uterine Fibroid Treatment?

Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive procedure meaning that it is performed without surgery. Small tubes are guided from your groin to the arteries of the uterus using real-time X-rays and the blood flow to the fibroids is temporarily blocked. Reduced blood flow causes the fibroid to shrink. Light sedation and pain medications are administered before the procedure and a catheter is placed in the bladder for patient comfort. The most common symptoms following the procedure are mild nausea and pelvic cramping. Patients stay in the hospital overnight following the procedure to ensure comfort prior to going home. The recovery period is typically very short with the majority of nausea and cramping symptoms resolving within the first 1-2 days after treatment. Recovery is typically shorter than for surgery. Some patients can experience increased fatigue for the first few weeks and most see significant improvement in their fibroid related symptoms within the first three months after treatment.