Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Procedure

WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE UFE?
  • No fibroid-related symptoms
  • Suspicion of malignancy
  • Infection or pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Pregnant women
  • Post-menopausal women

WHO IS A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR UFE?

  • Women with symptomatic fibroids: heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, bulk related symptoms, urinary frequency, pain during intercourse.
  • Women for whom myomectomy or hysterectomy has been recommended
  • Women who have a desire to preserve their uterus
  • Women desiring to avoid major surgery
  • Women desiring to maintain fertility, if hysterectomy is the only option

WHAT DOES THE EMBOLIZATION LOOK LIKE?

Drawing of a catheter within the uterine artery and embolization of the arteries that supply the fibroids.


HOW DOES UFE WORK?

  • Inject particles into the ateries that supply the fibroids
  • This starves the fibroids by compromising blood flow to fibroids
  • Fibroids shrink
  • Symptoms are eliminiated or significantly improved for 90% of women

WHAT IS AN ANGIOGRAPHY SUITE?

Using modern state-of-the-art digital imaging equipment, the Interventional Radiologist works in a sterile environment. The suite looks much like an operating room, except that high-tech imaging equipment is used to help guide the doctor.


WHAT TOOLS DO WE USE TO GUIDE US INTO THE UTERINE FIBROIDS?

WHAT ARE UTERINE FIBROID EMBOLIZATION'S SUCCESS RATES?

  • 85-90% of women have reported complete or nearly complete improvement of symptoms, especially bleeding.
  • 85-90% of women demonstrate on average 50-70% shrinkage in uterine and fibroid volume in 3-12 month follow-up
  • over 90% of women reported satisfaction with the procedure

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF UFE?

  • Treats all fibroids simultaneously
  • Minimally invasive, complications infrequent
  • Short recovery period
  • No adhesion (scar) formation
  • Minimal blood loss. No need for transfusion
  • Emotionally, physically and sexually - UFE can have advantage over other treatments

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF UFE?

  • 10-15% do not respond despite technical success
  • Up to 2% of procedures technically unsuccessful
  • Pelvic pain or cramping after procedure can remain moderate to severe for several days in a small group of patients.
  • 1% chance of serious complication, i.e. hysterectomy
  • No tissue obtained for pathologic diagnosis

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF UFE?

  • Hysterectomy: 1% incidence due to uterine infection or infarction.
  • Premature ovarian failure: 10% of patients experience amenorrhea. Most in late 40's.
  • Radiation not considered dangerous
  • Serious dye allergy is extremely rare
  • Catheter related complications are rare in experienced hands

WILL UFE DECREASE FERTILITY?

  • Conclusive studies with large numbers lacking
  • Dozens of reported healthy pregnancies, with no reports of any adverse outcome due to UAE
  • If infertility due to fibroids, fertility may improve in select patients after UAE. Research ongoing.
  • Women with symptomatic fibroids desiring fertility probably should consider myomectomy first, especially if relatively uncomplicated.

For appointments, call 340-774-0265

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