Uterine fibroids go by many names: leiomyomas, myomas, or simply fibroids. Regardless of what you call them, these growths in the uterus can cause a plethora of uncomfortable and downright annoying symptoms.
Fibroids are notorious for causing heavy periods (and the fatigue that accompanies heavy periods), but they also cause pelvic pain, abdominal and lower back pain, pain during intercourse, and even constipation and a sense of urinary frequency.
Understandably, these symptoms can quickly impact your quality of life, which is why our team at Fresno Fibroid Center wants you to know that we can help you find relief.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a minimally invasive option for managing symptomatic uterine fibroids. Below, we explore this particular treatment in more detail.
Understanding uterine fibroid embolization
There are many types of embolization procedures and many reasons why you might need them, but all embolization procedures have one thing in common: to stop blood flow. The uterine fibroid embolization 一 sometimes referred to as UFE 一 is a procedure designed to treat uterine fibroids by cutting off blood flow to the fibroid. Without adequate blood supply, the fibroid shrinks, and your symptoms dissipate.
How embolization works
Our team of interventional radiologists (IR) use specialized X-ray equipment to access your uterine artery. We can access this artery through a catheter from:
- A small incision in your groin (to access your femoral artery), or
- A small incision in your left wrist (to access your radial artery)
In either case, uterine fibroid embolization isn’t an open surgery: it’s a minimally invasive procedure. Once the catheter (a long thin tube) is in this position, our team injects thousands of tiny particles/beads through the catheter and into the blood vessels that supply blood to your fibroid.
We can treat multiple fibroids at one time without needing to perform a separate procedure.
What to expect after uterine fibroid embolization
Depending on how many fibroids you have, uterine fibroid embolization lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours. Once all of your fibroids are treated, we remove the catheter.
If we accessed your femoral artery via a small incision in your groin, we apply pressure and, if needed, apply a vascular closure device. On the other hand, if we insert the catheter through your left radial artery in your wrist, we apply a special radial wristband. This wristband applies pressure on your wound and helps prevent bleeding.
As an outpatient therapy, most women who undergo uterine fibroid embolization return home the same day without worrying about a hospital stay. Regardless of which type of access we use, Drs. Pruett, Tower, Balfour, and Ng explain your specific post-procedure care instructions.
Get the relief you need from fibroids
If you’re struggling with the many symptoms of uterine fibroids, don’t suffer in silence. Help for uterine fibroids is just a call or click away. You can reach our Fresno, California office at 559-216-0746 for an appointment, or simply click here. For general questions, call 559-436-4737.