What are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are benign lumps that grow on the uterus. They are very common and can be symptomatic in some people. Symptoms may include: Heavy periods, cramping, painful sex, Increased urge to urinate. Treatment options include hysterectomy, embolization, and hormone therapy.
What is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?
Uterine Fibroid embolization (UAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that injects small beads into the arteries that supply the uterus and fibroids. The procedure is done with X-ray guidance. A MRI is usually performed before the procedure to look at anatomy and to establish a baseline for future monitoring. The procedure is low risk and has a faster recovery time compared to surgical hysterectomy or myomectomy. Patients with a history of kidney disease or a desire to have children in the future may not be good candidates for this procedure.
What should I expect after the procedure?
An overnight stay is recommended after the procedure to ensure proper monitoring. Pain and discomfort will be the worst during the first 24 hours. A patient controlled pain pump (PCA) will be provided for pain relief. Patients are typically discharged home the following day with oral pain medications. Post embolization syndrome can occur after the procedure and includes pain as well as flu like symptoms. This should improve day after day and patients are usually back to their normal level of function after about 2 weeks. Fibroids will shrink over time and patients can expect an improvement in their symptoms beginning after one month.
Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization effective?
Symptom relief after uterine fibroid embolization is well documented in the medical literature and many studies that show it is a safe and effective option for appropriately selected women who wish to retain their uterus. The procedure is supported by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Additional information of a specific Uterine Fibroid procedure.