Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus that can result in pelvic pain or discomfort, urinary incontinence, frequent urination and heavy menstrual bleeding. The location and size of uterine fibroids can affect the severity of these symptoms and impact your quality of life. Fibroids are also hormonally sensitive, so the symptoms can be cyclical, just like with menstruation.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) – Treatment for Uterine Fibroids in San Diego

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a safe treatment for uterine fibroids. An Imaging Healthcare Specialist’s specially trained interventional radiologist uses imaging guidance to thread a small catheter through your body to the site of the blood vessel feeding the fibroids. The vessel is then blocked, causing the fibroids to shrink and reduce the symptoms they are causing. The procedure is performed in less than an hour, requires only a small nick in the skin, and patients can return home same day.

Preparation instructions will be provided to you before your visit.

If you have uterine fibroids, visit our Precision Therapy site to learn about treatment options.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) Procedure?

A UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization) procedure involves injecting small particles or beads (about 600 micrometers in size) into the blood supply to fibroids, blocking their blood flow. This leads to insufficient nutrition for the fibroid cells, causing them to shrink over time. The body’s immune system aids in removing the debris, utilizing natural processes to reduce fibroid size and alleviate associated symptoms.

How is UFE performed?

The procedure is minimally invasive, involving a small incision in the wrist or groin to thread a plastic catheter, guided by X-ray, into the artery supplying blood to the uterus and fibroids. A smaller catheter is then inserted to reach the fibroid’s artery, where small particles are injected to block blood flow. This deprivation of nutrition causes the fibroid to shrink over time, leading to improvement in symptoms.

What are the benefits of UFE?

Uterine fibroid embolization, a safe and established procedure for over 30 years, is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. It effectively treats fibroid symptoms with a quick recovery, offering outpatient convenience without hospitalization or general anesthesia. The procedure’s effectiveness is comparable to surgical options, supported by high-quality data.

Are there any risks of UFE?

Like any procedure, there are low chances of bleeding or infection, primarily associated with artery access. Rarely, injected particles may reach unintended arteries. The procedure is generally safe, and post-procedure antibiotics are seldom needed.

How long does the UFE procedure take?

The procedure takes between 1-2 hours, averaging an hour and a half. After the procedure is completed, patients go to the recovery room for about 2-3 hours, afterwards they are cleared to go home.

What is the recovery time?

The initial recovery period typically involves experiencing cramping on the first night. Within 3-4 days, you may experience slight discomfort but start to feel better. By about a week, you should be able to resume normal activities.

Contact Imaging Healthcare Specialists

Imaging Healthcare Specialists has interventional radiologists for Uterine Fibroid Embolization at our San Diego location. Please call (858) 677-9957 today to schedule.

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