Uterine Artery Embolization
Non-Surgical Treatment For Uterine Fibroids
Uterine artery embolization (UAE) is used to treat fibroids. It is a minimally-invasive procedure offered at ProFibroidMD to relieve heavy bleeding, pain, and other symptoms in patients with uterine fibroids. This procedure has many unique advantages over conventional surgery:
- Effective – 85% of women report that they are satisfied with the procedure or experience sustained symptom relief
- Clinically Proven – UAE is supported by multiple clinical studies and nearly two decades of practice
- Pregnancy & Fertility – pregnancy is possible after UAE
- Fast Recovery – hospital stay not required, most women return to their normal activities within 1 week
In this article, our Fibroid Specialists go in-depth on uterine artery embolization. You’ll learn:
Fibroid Symptom Relief
in Los Angeles
Adrianne S, October 2018
What is Uterine Artery Embolization?
Uterine artery embolization is used to treat fibroids. Fibroids receive the majority of their blood supply directly from the uterine arteries. This blood supply is required for fibroids to grow and maintain their size. Uterine artery embolization, also called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), is a minimally invasive procedure in which tiny particles are injected into the uterine artery to cut off blood supply to the fibroids. After embolization, the fibroids shrink and symptoms are relieved.
How Does Uterine Artery Embolization Compare to Other Treatment Options?
Compared to surgical options like hysterectomy and myomectomy, uterine artery embolization offers the fastest recovery time, the shortest hospital stay, and the lowest risk of procedural complications. It is clinically proven to be just as effective as surgical options when it comes to symptom relief and patient satisfaction. Uterine artery embolization has the added advantage of keeping the uterus healthy and intact, so pregnancy after uterine artery embolization is still possible.
Uterine Artery Embolization Procedure: What to Expect
Evaluation for Uterine Artery Embolization
On the Day of Your Procedure
There are no major incisions required for the uterine artery embolization procedure, but a tiny puncture will be made in the forearm or the upper leg. Your Fibroid Specialist will then proceed to navigate a small tube through this puncture to the blood vessels that supply your uterine fibroids and deliver therapy. The procedure usually takes less than an hour. Although you will be awake throughout the procedure, a specialized nurse will be monitoring you to keep you comfortable.
Uterine Artery Embolization Recovery
Uterine Artery Embolization Pain
Uterine Artery Embolization FAQs
Does uterine artery embolization work?
In these studies, treatment success is measured by asking women whether or not they are satisfied with treatment or by asking them about their experiences with fibroid symptoms. Two years after uterine artery embolization, around 85% of women report that they are satisfied with the procedure or remain free of fibroid symptoms. A similar percentage of women report that they are still happy with their results 5 years after treatment.
How long does uterine artery embolization last?
How common are uterine artery embolization complications?
Uterine artery embolization complications are uncommon during the procedure. The highest quality clinical studies have demonstrated that complications occur at a rate of 0% to 9%, and most complications can be managed during the procedure without long-term health consequences.
What are the side effects of uterine artery embolization?
Where do they cut for uterine artery embolization?
How long is uterine artery embolization recovery?
Women undergoing uterine artery embolization should plan for 1 to 2 weeks of recovery before returning to normal activities like work and exercise. Multiple studies have looked at how long it takes for women to make a full recovery after uterine artery embolization. In most studies, uterine artery embolization recovery time averages between 9 and 12 days, but exact recovery time will vary from person to person.
Why is uterine artery embolization painful afterwards?
Uterine artery embolization works by inducing ischemia (blockage of blood flow) to the fibroids and depriving the fibroids of blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Although ischemia is the goal of the UAE procedure, ischemia may also activate pain signals that respond to oxygen deficiency. This is thought to cause cramping pain around the site of treatment for a few days after the procedure. Pain typically lasts for 3-4 days, and less frequent cramping pain can occur for up to 2 weeks following the procedure.
What happens to fibroids after uterine artery embolization?
How much do fibroids shrink after uterine artery embolization?
How long does it take for fibroids to shrink after uterine artery embolization?
Can you become pregnant after uterine artery embolization?
When it comes to fibroid treatment, we believe that less is more. A less invasive procedure means less trauma, less risk, and shorter recovery time. Learn more about why we opt for UAE/UFE, the least invasive treatment for uterine fibroids.
 Gupta et al. (2014). Uterine artery embolization for symptomatic uterine fibroids (Review). Cochrane Library, (5).
 Younas K, Hadoura E, Majoko F, Bunkheila A. A review of evidence-based management of uterine fibroids. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2016;18:33–42.
 Bulman, J.C., Ascher, S.M., Spies, J.B. (2012). Current Concepts in Uterine Fibroid Embolization. RadioGraphics, 32(6), 1735-1750.
 Khan, A. T., Shehmar, M., Gupta, J. K., & Gupta, J. (2014). Uterine fibroids: current perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, 6, 95–114.
 Spies, J. B. (2013). Current evidence on uterine embolization for fibroids. Seminars in Interventional Radiology, 30(4), 340–346