Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), also known as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) is a less invasive procedure for treatment of uterine fibroids performed by an Interventional Radiologist (IR), a doctor who uses X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery.
The process typically lasts less than two hours and patients usually have to stay up to 23 hours after the procedure is complete. Patients usually return to work in an average of 11 days. UFE blocks the blood supply to fibroids, causing them to shrink. It is clinically proven to reduce the major symptoms of fibroids, including pain, excessive and prolonged bleeding, and frequent urination.
Without blood supply, the fibroids shrink, relieving symptoms in 90 percent of women.
The interventional radiologists at the University of Miami Health System are experts in this procedure.
How effective is UFE?
- On average, 85-90 percent of women who have had the procedure experience significant or total relief of heavy bleeding, pain and/or bulk-related symptoms.
- The procedure is effective for multiple fibroids and large fibroids.
- Recurrence of treated fibroids is very rare. Short and mid-term data show UFE to be very effective with a very low rate of recurrence. Long-term (10-year) data are not yet available, but in one study in which patients were followed for six years, no fibroid that had been embolized regrew.
UFE and Fertility
If you decide on uterine artery embolization, becoming pregnant in the future can be extremely difficult.
While uterine artery embolization is an effective treatment for uterine fibroids, the effects that it has on the ability to become pregnant, on the development of the fetus, and the ability to carry the fetus to term have not been determined. There are some reports of women becoming pregnant after the uterine artery embolization procedure and having successful pregnancies. However, there is no conclusive data or scientific results that establish the safety of uterine fibroid embolization on fertility and pregnancy. Therefore, before choosing this fibroid treatment, it is very important that you understand the potential inability to conceive in the future.
Less than two percent of patients have entered menopause as a result of UFE. This is more likely to occur if the woman is in her mid-forties or older and is already nearing menopause.
Why Choose UHealth?
Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.