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Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also known as uterine artery embolization, is performed by an interventional radiologist, a physician who is trained to perform this and other types of embolization and minimally invasive procedures. It is performed while the patient is conscious, but sedated and feeling no pain. It does not require general anesthesia.

The interventional radiologist makes a tiny nick in the skin in the groin and inserts a catheter into the femoral artery. Using real-time imaging, the physician guides the catheter through the artery and then releases tiny particles, the size of grains of sand, into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroid tumor. This blocks the blood flow to the fibroid tumor and causes it to shrink and die.

Want to learn more about Fibroid Treatments? Learn more at InfoUFE.com.

UFE Recovery

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UFE can be performed safely in an outpatient setting.  Non steroidal medication (Motrin) and pain killers are prescribed for several days following the procedure.  This helps to control pain and cramping.  In addition, medication for nausea may be prescribed as needed. Most women resume light activities in a few days and are able to return to normal activities within ten days.  In comparison, recovery time after a hysterectomy is approximately six weeks.

UFE Facts

  • 85-90 percent of women have significant relief of their symptoms
  • UFE is effective on most size and types of fibroids
  • Recurrance of treated fibroids is rare
  • Approximately 14,000 UFE procedures are performed annually in the U.S.
  • Embolization of the uterine arteries has been performed by Interventional Radiologists for over 20 years.  It was and still is used to treat life-threatening bleeding after childbirth.
  • The embolic particles are FDA approved and have been in use in people for over 20 years.
  • UFE is covered by most major insurance companies.
  • It is an organ sparing procedure
  • UFE preserves fertility with numerous reports of successful pregnancy after UFE

Risks

UFE is a very safe method and, like other minimally invasive procedures, has significant advantages over conventional open surgery. However, there are some associated risks, as there are with any medical procedure. A small number of patients have experienced infection, which usually can be controlled by antibiotics. There also is a less than one percent chance of injury to the uterus, potentially leading to a hysterectomy. These complication rates are lower than those of hysterectomy and myomectomy.

To schedule a consultation, call Dr. Angelo N. Makris at 630.954.8346 or fill out our contact form.
Vein Trust Angelo N. Makris, MD
Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Oak Brook Promenade
3011 Butterfield Road, Suite 120
Oak Brook, IL 60523
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