Those of us with uterine fibroids are intimately familiar with the cramping, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding. We've long traded our white pants and crisp white linens for darker alternatives. But we do have options—and not just a hysterectomy. Instead, Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that's covered by insurance. So know freedom again. Know comfort.
Call Charlotte Radiology's uterine fibroid experts today at 704-FIBROID.
What Is UFE?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat fibroids, a noncancerous uterine tumor. Fibroids are the most common uterine tumor in the female reproductive system. These benign muscular tumors can sometimes cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, cramping, and pressure on pelvic organs such as the urinary bladder and intestines. Fibroids range in size from very small to very large and are primarily associated with significant bleeding and cramping.
Until recently, fibroids were typically treated by performing a hysterectomy, removal of the uterus, or myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids while preserving the uterus.) Today, there are less invasive options.
Uterine Fibroids are very common, found in 25-40% of all women. African American women are at a higher risk for fibroids, with up to 50% of women between the ages of 35 and 45 diagnosed.
Symptoms may include:
- heavy, prolonged, painful menstrual periods
- pelvic pain, pressure or heaviness
- pain in the back or legs
- pain during sexual intercourse
- bladder pressure
- frequent urination
- abnormally enlarged abdomen
Diagnosis and Treatment
Fibroids are usually diagnosed during a gynecologic internal exam. Determining whether you are an appropriate candidate for Uterine Fibroid Embolization requires careful consideration of all treatment options. Most insurance companies pay for this treatment, but you may want to talk with your interventional radiologist about this before your procedure.
Fibroids can be treated by a physician, without surgery, through a procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization. During this procedure, the physician will guide a small catheter into the uterine arteries. There the physician will inject small particles, no bigger than a grain of sand that will cause the fibroids to shrink and symptoms to fade.
PREPARING FOR UFE
UFE is not painful and takes only one to two hours to perform. Women are comfortable with IV sedation. After UFE, patients typically spend one night in the hospital and resume light activities within the next few days. The majority of patients are able to resume their normal routine within one week. Six months after the procedure, patients are scheduled for an MRI scan to confirm success.
PROCEDURE SUCCESS & RISKS
Uterine Fibroid Embolization is a successful treatment for thousands of women, with at least 90% reporting significant or total relief from fibroids. UFE is effective at treating multiple fibroids, without harming the uterus.
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