Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), also called Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. Treatment of fibroids by embolization is relatively new; however, uterine embolization has been successfully used for 20 years to treat heavy bleeding after childbirth.
Embolization is a term that means to stop or block the flow of blood. Almost all fibroids receive their blood supply from the uterine arteries. The technique blocks blood flow to fibroids without injury to the uterus that has other blood flow sources.
In UFE, a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and threaded into the uterine arteries. Tiny plastic particles are introduced through the catheter to obstruct the blood flow. The lack of blood supply to the fibroids may cause them to shrink by as much as 65 percent. While most women get complete relief or significant improvement in their symptoms, up to 20 percent of women may still have symptoms after embolization.
Candidates for UFE are premenopausal women experiencing symptoms from fibroid tumors. Most frequently these symptoms include irregular or heavy bleeding, pain, pelvic pressure or fullness.
The UPMC Magee Uterine Fibroid Embolization program combines the expertise of board-certified gynecologists and interventional radiologists with extensive experience in this minimally invasive procedure. These specialists offer consultation services for women seeking information on UFE as a treatment option for uterine fibroids.
For more information on Uterine Fibroid Embolization, please call the UFE program coordinator at the Magee Fibroid Treatment Center: 412-647-3397.
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