At Advocate Christ Medical Center, we know that uterine fibroid tumors can result in severe pain, heaving bleeding and, in some cases, premenopausal hysterectomies. Our Interventional Radiologists offer a targeted treatment for uterine fibroids called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). This minimally invasive procedure blocks the flow of blood to the tumor, causing it to shrink.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterine wall and can range in size from very tiny to larger than a cantaloupe. While only 10 to 20 percent of patients with uterine fibroids require treatment, the size and location of fibroids can lead to problems for some women, including pain and heavy bleeding.
The UFE procedure is minimally invasive, meaning that it involves a small incision and can be performed while the patient is mildly sedated. Interventional Radiologists block the blood vessels that feed the fibroid by injecting tiny particles through a catheter. These particles cut off the blood supply to the fibroid and cause it to shrink. Patients who undergo UFE stay in the hospital overnight and usually return to normal activities within seven days to 10 days.
In addition to being a highly targeted treatment, UFE is also highly effective in treating uterine fibroids. Most patients experience significant or total relief from their symptoms, and studies show that the recurrence rate of fibroids after UFE is very low.