If you are having heavy periods, prolonged periods, pressure in your pelvis, urinary frequency, bloating, or constipation UFE could be right for you. These symptoms are a tell-tale sign of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are usually noncancerous tumors in and on the uterus. The fibroids can appear in women of reproduction ages and forward into menopause. There is scientific research stating that genetics is behind fibroids. Hormones can affect these fibroids either having them grow or shrink.
What is UFE?
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) or Uterine Artery Embolism(UAE) is a procedure where a catheter is fed through a vein to the uterus. Embolic material is injected into the small vessels that supply the fibroid with blood, oxygen, and nutrients. The embolic material is much larger than blood cells and they block the vessels thus, stopping the blood flow. When the fibroid is no longer receiving life-sustaining blood they begin to shrink. There is also research showing that once the fibroid is devoid of blood and shrinks that fibroid will not come back.
Top 5 reasons to get UFE in 2023
1. Less Invasive Procedure
2. Quick Recovery Time
3. Does Not Remove the Uterus
4. Treats All Fibroids at Once
5. Little to No Scar
Why is UFE a less invasive procedure?
UFE requires a small cut near the groin or top of the thigh. A catheter is fed through your arteries, which are small. As you can imagine, this leads to a small puncture and a quick turnaround. A myomectomy is a laparoscopic surgery where the fibroids are surgically removed from the uterine walls. A myomectomy is more invasive due to the fact that they are removing the fibroids as opposed to smothering them. The third option is a hysterectomy where your uterus and maybe your ovaries as well are completely or partially removed. This is the most invasive and dangerous and requires the longest recovery time of the other options for uterine fibroid care. Aside from the physical effects of having ovaries and or the uterus removed, there are hormonal and psychological changes that can happen as well.
How fast is the recovery time?
UFE has a recovery time of about 11 days from the procedure to full activity. A myomectomy recovery time is two to six weeks. If you are recovering from a hysterectomy you will need to plan on six to eight weeks for recovery. UFE is the easy choice for minimal risks, side effects, and recovery time.
Do I need to have my uterus removed if I get UFE?
This is the biggest benefit of UFE. UFE leaves the uterus and ovaries intact so if you are planning on or want to have the chance to get pregnant you may still be able to. With a myomectomy, there is a partial or complete removal of either the uterus or ovaries. Hysterectomy is the removal of either ovaries or uterus or both.
Does UFE treat all fibroids at once or would I need to keep coming back?
Getting UFE is a one-time treatment. When the particles are added to your veins at the fibroid site blocking blood cells from getting to the fibroid, the fibroid dies. All the fibroids can be treated at once, the one catheter making its way from fibroid to fibroid to kill them off.
Is this going to leave a terrible scar?
As you’ve read about the different levels of commitment to each procedure you’ve no doubt discovered that UFE has the smallest scar, if any at all. A myomectomy is a laparoscopic surgery so there will be several small incisions in the abdominal area. A hysterectomy could potentially be laparoscopic but also may be an exploratory surgery that could cause a large scar.
Doctors McBride, Guichard, and Golowa would love to meet you and help you get to the bottom of your pain and complications. Call 1Fibroid at 212-991-9991 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.