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What Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization?

ImageUterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive treatment for benign fibroid tumors of the uterus. These tumors arise from the muscular wall of the uterus and commonly cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvic region and pressure on the bladder or bowel.

How Does It Work?
For a UFE, Gwinnett Medical Center uses a real-time X-ray, called fluoroscopy, to guide the delivery of small particles to the uterus and fibroids. The small particles are injected through a thin catheter and block the arteries that provide blood flow, causing the fibroids to shrink. Nearly 90% of women with fibroids experience relief of their symptoms.

ImageWhat Are the Benefits?

  • UFE, done under local anesthesia, is much less invasive than open surgery to remove uterine fibroids or the entire uterus (hysterectomy).
  • No surgical incision is needed—only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed.
  • Patients can ordinarily resume their usual activities weeks earlier than with a traditional hysterectomy.
  • Blood loss during uterine fibroid embolization is minimal, the recovery time is much shorter than for hysterectomy, and general anesthesia is not required.
  • 90% of women who have a uterine fibroid embolization experience either significant or complete resolution of their fibroid-related symptoms.
  • Studies over several years show it is rare for treated fibroids to return or for new fibroids to develop.

Because the effect of uterine fibroid embolization on fertility is not fully understood, UFE is typically offered to women who no longer wish to become pregnant or who want or need to avoid having a hysterectomy.

Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Lawrenceville, Duluth or Hamilton Mill.