Uterine Fibroid Embolization
Uterine fibroids are very common non-cancerous (benign) growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. They can often cause the uterus to grow significantly in size. While most women with fibroids have no symptoms, about one third of women with fibroids develop significant symptoms requiring treatment. These symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, pelvic pain and pressure, frequent urination from the large uterus pushing on the bladder, and even painful intercourse. Typically, fibroids are first diagnosed during a gynecologic internal exam. The presence of fibroids is often confirmed with an ultrasound or MRI.
Uterine fibroid embolization, known medically as uterine artery embolization, is a minimally-invasive treatment option. This approach to the treatment of fibroids blocks the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids causing them to shrink.
About the Procedure
- This procedure, which is performed by our interventional radiologists, usually takes less than an hour.
- It requires only a tiny nick in the skin with a band-aid placed at the end.
- Patients are made comfortable during the procedure with i.v. sedation such that they are drowsy and feeling no pain.
- The procedure is performed by placing a small tube called a catheter into the arteries supplying blood flow to the fibroids. Tiny plastic particles the size of grains of sand are then injected. This cuts off the blood flow to the fibroids, causing them to shrink.
- Fibroid embolization requires only a one night hospital stay.
- Pain-killing medications are given following the procedure to treat cramping and pain.
- Many women resume light activities in a few days and the majority of women are able to return to normal activities within one week.
Best of all, this procedure is very successful. On average, 85-90% of women who have this procedure experience significant or total relief of heavy bleeding and pain.
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To schedule an appointment with one of our interventional radiologists please call 610-579-3515 to schedule a consultation with one of our interventional radiologists.