When caring for patients with uterine fibroids, we work in partnership with dozens of obstetrician-gynecologists throughout the Midwest to offer uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) as a treatment option.
Since UFE is relatively new, some OB-GYNE physicians are not well acquainted with the procedure. We are happy to provide your physician with more information. Our goal is to cooperate in your care.
What Is UFE?
UFE is performed by interventional radiologists, who work with gynecologists, to evaluate candidates for this procedure. Interventional radiologists use X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and guide micro-tools to treat conditions without surgery.
How Does This Procedure Work?
A tiny tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery at the top of the leg (Figure 1). Patients receive mild sedation and a numbing agent, so the procedure is not painful. The catheter is then guided into the uterine artery and an arteriogram (an X-ray in which a dye is injected into the blood vessels) is done to map the arteries feeding the fibroids."
Next, tiny particles are injected through the catheter and into the fibroids, cutting off their blood supply (Figure 2). The fibroids begin to shrink much as they do after menopause, but the uterus and ovaries are spared.
How Much Hospital Time Is Required?
Patients are observed for several hours in the hospital. About half of the patients are sent home that day and half stay overnight and go home in the morning. The fibroids will continue to shrink over the next several months.
While there are many advantages to having UFE, there are some disadvantages and side effects. Learn more about UFE success rates by using this link.
To learn more, visit us at www.virchicago.com or www.drfibroid.com.