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UFE FAQS

Uterine fibroid embolization is an alternative to traditional treatments such as surgical removal of the fibroids (myomectomy) or hysterectomy (removal of the entire uterus). UFE is a minimally invasive image-guided procedure that significantly shrinks fibroids by cutting off their blood supply.

Patients who meet the following criteria may be candidates for UFE:

  • You are above eighteen years of age
  • Suffering from symptomatic fibroids
  • If you are not pregnant.
  • Malignancy is neither present nor suspected.
  • Desire to preserve the uterus Desire to remain fertile
  • There is no pelvic infection.

While UFE may be an effective treatment option for some women, it may not be appropriate for all patients, including those who have:

  • Fibroids that do not cause symptoms
  • Infection or inflammatory disease of the pelvis
  • Malignancy, known or suspected

The UFE procedure provides several benefits, including:

  • Invasiveness is kept to a minimum. 
  • Avoid surgical scar in abdomen
  • Safe and effective
  • Performed as an outpatient procedure
  • No General Anesthesia
  • Hardly any blood loss and no need of blood transfusion
  • Allows for a faster recovery; most people can return to work in seven to ten days.
  • Reduced total financial costs

UFE may also allow for fertility preservation. Several studies have shown that women who had UFE became pregnant and gave birth to healthy babies.

There are only few risks associated with UFE, which include:

  • Severe pelvic pain, usually during the initial 8-12 hours.  
  • Premature ovarian failure, which affects 1 to 2% of patients
  • Allergies to iodinated contrast agents or other medications

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) treats all the fibroids in the same setting, alleviating symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding. More than 90% women experience a significant reduction in menstrual bleeding after undergoing UFE. It is common for heavy bleeding to improve during the first menstrual cycle following the procedure.

Within three to six months, the size of your fibroids should have shrunk by half. Overall, you should see a 90% improvement in your fibroid-related symptoms.

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a procedure commonly used to treat various types of fibroids, including:

  • Submucosal Fibroids: Grow into the uterine cavity.
  • Intramural Fibroids: Grow within the muscular wall of the uterus.
  • Subserosal Fibroids: Grow on the outer surface of the uterus.

UFE is generally suitable for a range of fibroid types and sizes. However, the specific eligibility for the procedure is determined on a case-by-case basis, and our doctor will assess your individual situation to determine if UFE is an appropriate treatment option for you.

The particles used in embolization procedures, including Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), are typically made of materials such as polyvinyl alcohol or tris-acryl gelatin microspheres. These particles are designed to be permanent and inert within the blood vessels, causing the targeted vessels to clot and block blood flow to the fibroids.

However, it’s essential to discuss any concerns or questions about the procedure, including the materials used, with your healthcare provider before undergoing embolization. They can provide you with specific information based on your individual health and the details of the procedure.

The effects of embolization, such as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), can vary from person to person. In general, some patients may experience symptom relief shortly after the procedure, while for others, it may take a few weeks to notice significant improvement.

Allergic reactions to the materials used in embolization procedures are rare but possible. The embolic agents, such as microspheres or particles, are typically made of inert and biocompatible materials. However, individuals may have unique sensitivities or allergies to certain components.

Before undergoing embolization, our doctor typically conducts thorough pre-procedural assessments, including a review of medical history and potential allergies. Patients are often asked about any known allergies or sensitivities to materials, contrast agents, or other substances used during the procedure.

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) primarily treats existing fibroids and the associated symptoms. It is not specifically designed to prevent the formation of new fibroids. While embolization can be effective in shrinking or eliminating existing fibroids, it does not address the underlying factors that lead to the development of fibroids.

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a state-of-the-art, outpatient procedure designed for the effective and minimally invasive treatment of uterine fibroids. The decision to conduct UFE in an outpatient setting is rooted in its safety, efficiency, and patient-centered approach. This catheter-based procedure, often performed under local anesthesia, enables a swift recovery, and its minimally invasive nature reduces the necessity for a prolonged hospital stay.

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a procedure suitable for women of various ages who experience symptomatic fibroids. The appropriateness of UFE is determined more by the presence of symptoms and the impact of fibroids on a woman’s quality of life than by age. Women in their reproductive years or perimenopausal stages can benefit from UFE, avoiding the need for surgical interventions like hysterectomy. However, the decision should be made on an individual basis, considering factors such as overall health, reproductive goals, and the severity of fibroid symptoms.

No, embolization is not considered experimental. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an established and well-documented procedure that has been performed for several years. It is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgical methods for treating symptomatic uterine fibroids. UFE has been shown to be effective in alleviating fibroid-related symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and bulk-related issues.

The decision on whether to recommend or perform a specific medical procedure, such as embolization, depends on various factors, including the doctor’s expertise, the patient’s medical condition, and the available treatment options. Not all doctors may specialize in or offer every available procedure. If your doctor does not perform embolization, they may refer you to a specialist or recommend alternative treatment options based on their analysis of your specific situation. It’s essential to have an end-to-end discussion with your healthcare provider to discuss the reasons behind their recommendations.

The impact of UFE on fertility is variable, and it’s essential to consult with a fertility specialist to discuss your specific situation and explore appropriate fertility treatment options if conception is a goal. UFE is generally considered for women who have completed their childbearing or those for whom fertility preservation is not a primary concern.

We recommend that you wait 6 months after embolization before attempting to conceive.

UFE is typically covered by most health insurance plans because fibroids affect a woman’s fertility and can cause painful and debilitating symptoms. 

The cost of Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) can depend on factors such as geographical location, healthcare facility, and individual patient circumstances. Generally, UFE is considered a cost-effective alternative to surgical procedures like hysterectomy or myomectomy.

Comparing the costs of different treatment options, such as surgery or UFE, will depend on your unique medical situation and preferences.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is generally not expected to have any significant impact on sexual function. The primary goal of UFE is to alleviate symptoms related to uterine fibroids, such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain, without affecting reproductive organs.

In fact, most women who undergo UFE experience improvements in symptoms and an overall enhancement in their quality of life. As the procedure targets blood flow to fibroids, it doesn’t directly affect sexual organs or hormones.

Consult with Dr. Sandeep