Uterine Fibroid Embolization: Questions and Answers

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are firm, noncancerous tumors that develop in the uterus. Fibroids vary in size, ranging from the dimension of a pea to a softball or grapefruit.

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What is uterine fibroid embolization?

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive procedure that offers a non-surgical alternative to a hysterectomy. During UFE, an interventional radiologist makes a small puncture in the patient's leg and inserts a catheter through the femoral artery. Using imaging technology, the radiologist guides the catheter into the uterine artery, locates the fibroid(s) and injects tiny particles into the arteries to block blood flow to the benign growth. Without a blood supply, the fibroid will shrink. The entire procedure typically takes between one and two hours.

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How quickly can I expect results?

The fibroid(s) will shrink over a period of several months, but most patients will be able to resume normal daily activities within a week or two.

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What are the advantages of UFE?

Since UFE is a non-surgical solution to uterine fibroids, there is no incision, patients experience a faster recovery time and it preserves the uterus and ovaries. This procedure can also treat all existing fibroids at one time, regardless of size and location, without the need for subsequent visits.

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What are the risks associated with UFE?

UFE is minimally invasive, but as with any medical procedure, there are some associated risks. Patients may experience cramping, mild fatigue, a low-grade fever, and in some cases, fibroids may reoccur.

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Our Team

Rakesh Navuluri, MD
Brian Funaki, MD
Jonathan Lorenz, MD
Thuong Van Ha, MD
Steven Zangan, MD
Jeffrey Leef, MD


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