Uterine Fibroids & Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Group of multi-ethnic women

Uterine fibroids are very common non-cancerous growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus affecting 7 out of 10 women. Fibroids can range in size and are often multiple when diagnosed. Symptoms of uterine fibroids often include, but are not limited to pelvic pain and heavy bleeding.

Our Interventional Radiologists offer a nonsurgical treatment for uterine fibroids called uterine fibroid embolization. This treatment causes fibroids to shrink with the possibility of complete elimination of the benign tumor. The treatment requires no surgery and preserves your uterus.

Please visit our UFE Question & Answer Page for more information.


Treatment: Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

  • Our Interventional Radiologists use real-time x-ray, fluoroscopy, to guide the delivery of small particles to the uterus and fibroids.
  • These particles are injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter.
  • The particles block the arteries that provide blood flow, causing the fibroids to shrink.
  • Only one small skin puncture is required for the entire procedure.
  • Nearly 90 percent of women with fibroids who undergo UFE, experience relief, if not complete resolution of their symptoms.

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UFE Protocol   PDF_file_icon_32x32

  1. Initial Consultation – Clinic Encounter with one of our Interventional Radiologist
    • We will need from your gynecologist or primary care physician:
      1. Thorough clinic encounter note
      2. Imaging results – Prior pelvic ultrasound or MRI
      3. Reports of prior gynecologic surgery: i.e., myomectomy, D & C, Endometrial Biopsy
      4. Results of most recent PAP smear
    • If possible we will coordinate a pre-procedure pelvic MRI prior to our clinic visit so your visit can be tailored specifically to you. In this manner, you will know if you are a UFE candidate on the same day as consultation!
  2. Pre-procedure testing
    • If abnormal bleeding, we will arrange for an endometrial biopsy to exclude endometrial cancer or hyperplasia.
    • Negative PAP smear in the last year.
    • Pelvic MRI – to ensure you are an appropriate candidate for UFE.
  3. Insurance pre-authorization
  4. UFE procedure performed in the Special Procedures Department at Baptist Medical Center
    • First 6-10 hours after UFE can be difficult due to heavy pelvic cramping. We will administer IV pain medication in the recovery period. Most of our patients go home the same day, however overnight admission for pain control is an option if necessary.
    • First 2-3 days can also be difficult, but most patients are able to return to normal activities in 7-10 days.
  5. Follow up
    • Follow up phone call from the Interventional Radiology clinic nurse 2 weeks post procedure.
    • Follow up clinic visit 3 months post procedure. Most patients experience dramatic improvement in symptoms by 2 cycles following UFE.
    • We do not routinely perform follow up imaging, however in the event of suspected complications or persistent symptoms a repeat pelvic MRI may be performed.
  6. Routine gynecologic follow-up

For a consultation with one of our Interventional Radiologist,
please call our clinic at 501-748-3202.  If you are a referring provider,
please fax a consult request with a copy of the most recent clinic encounter note to 501-227-9151.

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