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If you have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, you may be looking for an alternative treatment to a hysterectomy. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure with a high success rate and low-risk factor. This effective treatment is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and may be able to provide those that suffer from uterine fibroids with the relief they need, without a hysterectomy.
How Does Uterine Fibroid Embolization Work?
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), or uterine artery embolization (UAE), starts with an interventional radiologist creating a small incision in the groin area or wrist and using a specialized x-ray camera called a fluoroscope to pass a catheter through the blood vessels that are feeding the fibroids. Through the catheter, embolic material (small spheres) is injected into the blood vessels, depriving the fibroids of oxygenated blood. This material permanently remains in the blood vessels. This procedure is then repeated on the other side of the uterus. As fibroid tumors, also known as leiomyomas, begin to shrink, the uterus can recover.
This treatment typically takes less than an hour and is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
Benefits of Uterine Fibroid Embolization
With a satisfaction rate of almost 90%, UFE is one of the most successful and safest alternatives to invasive hysterectomy procedures. Benefits of this treatment include:
- Preservation of the uterus
- Reduced menstrual bleeding
- Improved urinary function
- Reduced pelvic pain/pressure
- Little to no blood loss
- Faster recovery time
- Fewer complications after 30 days when compared to hysterectomy
- Covered by most insurance companies
- Outpatient procedure
While the risk factor associated with UFE is very low, it is important to understand that every medical procedure can carry some degree of risk. For uterine fibroid embolization, these can include:
- Short-term, long-term, or permanent amenorrhea (missed periods)
- Allergic reaction/rash (short-term)
- Vaginal discharge or infection
- Possible passage of fibroids
- Postembolization syndrome (fever, tiredness, pain, elevated white blood cell count)
- Embolization of nontarget organs
Serving Fayetteville For Over 50 Years
At Valley Radiology, our expert interventional radiologists in Fayetteville use the latest technology along with their years of experience to provide our patients with the care they deserve. We offer convenient scheduling and office hours to accommodate your needs. Learn more about our procedures and book an appointment to by contacting us at (910) 486-5700 or by filling out our quick contact form. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you have!