Uterine Fibroid Embolization FAQ

How do I know if I have fibroids?

Common Symptoms Include:

Heavy bleeding  (which can be heavy enough to cause low red blood cell count)  or painful periods, feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower stomach area), frequent urination, pain during sex, lower back pain, constipation or bloating. All patients must have a thorough gynecologic examination to be certain that fibroids are indeed the cause of their symptoms. All patients must have an MRI examination and we recommend a Pap smear result from the past 12 months. Most patients who complain of bleeding will have an endometrial biopsy – an outpatient gynecologic procedure that is performed to rule out cancer of the lining of the uterus.

Are fibroids cancers?

Uterine Fibroids (leiomyomas) are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus, which are made up of muscle and connective tissues, causing a hard and heaving sensation in the abdomen and pelvis.

What is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)?

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a procedure where a catheter is guided through the uterine artery with the use of moving x-ray.  Tiny particles are injected into the uterine arteries that supply blood to the fibroid tumor; this blocks blood flow to the fibroid tumor which will cause the fibroid to shrink..

What is the success rate of UFE?

According to the combined results of major studies of UFE, the average success rate is approximately 90%. After five years, approximately 80% of patients are asymptomatic. In other words, in 4 out of 5 patients, it is not necessary to have a hysterectomy or other treatment for uterine fibroid disease.