Uterine Artery Embolization
- Pelvic pain
- Frequent urination and constipation
- Lower back pain
How Does it Work?
Until recently, hysterectomies were the only way to treat fibroids. Now, uterine artery embolization is a viable alternative to surgical intervention, and minimizes symptoms by blocking the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink.
Is Uterine Artery Embolization Right for You?
The patient's gynecologist should conduct a thorough examination to determine that fibroids are the cause of symptoms and to rule out other gynecologic problems. Treatment options, including uterine artery embolization, can be discussed at this session.
During the uterine artery embolization, the physician inserts a small, hollow tube (sheath) through a needlepoint incision into the groin artery. A catheter is passed through the tube into the uterine artery.
With the catheter in place, small particles are passed into the left uterine artery until there is very little blood flow in the artery. The catheter is then guided from the left uterine artery to the right uterine artery, and the process is repeated.
Uterine artery embolization is effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms for approximately 85 percent of patients undergoing the procedure.
After the Procedure
The majority of patients feel some pelvic pain or cramping for up to 10 hours after the procedure. IV medications are administered, as needed. By the next morning most patients are much more comfortable and discharged on oral medication.
Follow-up appointments should be scheduled for one to two weeks after the procedure with the patient's gynecologist and with the interventional radiologist for three months after the procedure.