Peripheral Vascular Partners
We offer a safe, minimally invasive procedure known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization to effectively remove fibroids and get you back to the things you enjoy!
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), also called uterine artery embolization (UAE), is a highly efficacious and minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to the fibroids, ceasing their growth and causing them to shrink over time.
A UFE procedure is performed by a highly trained Vascular Interventional Radiologist, done with local anesthestic and under conscious sedation. While the patient is sedated and will not experience pain, they are allowed to remain conscious. A very tiny nick is made in the skin near the femoral artery in the groin or the radial artery in the wrist and a catheter is carefully guided to the pelvic arteries. An angiogram is performed injecting xray contrast to visualize the uterine arteries which are typically very enlarged. There are two uterine arteries, one on each side of the pelvis.
The catheter is then placed deep inside each of the uterine arteries. Once reached, micro-spheres of medical grade plastic or gelatin are injected into the uterine artery to cut off the fibroid’s blood supply. Fibroids are hypervascular meaning that they have extra and abnormal blood vessels which is what allows the fibroids to continue to grow over a woman’s lifetime. The microspheres are sized to preferentially go into abnormal fibroid arteries. Once both uterine arteries are successfully blocked, the fibroids immediately start to shrink and continue to shrink for months after the procedure. The injection of the microspheres is done under continuous xray fluoroscopy imaging to make sure the blood flow is completely blocked.
Once injected, the microspheres lodge inside the blood vessels permanently and cannot go anywhere. The microspheres are FDA approved and specifically indicated for uterine artery embolization. When the procedure is completed, the catheter is removed and pressure is placed on the blood vessel access to prevent bleeding. The recovery from a UFE is typically associated with pelvic pain or discomfort, cramping and nausea which are worst in the first day or two after the procedure and gradually resolve over a few days to a week. Patients typically spend a couple hours in the recovery bay after UFE during which medications are given to help reduce symptoms. Patients are then given several medications to control symptoms to go home with. Patients can typically go back to usual activities in several days to a week.
At Peripheral Vascular Partners of Boise, we care deeply about our patients’ well-being, and we’ve made it our mission to provide the best treatment with proven surgical alternatives and minimal recovery time. Our providers focus specifically on vascular treatments, so you can rest easy knowing your procedure is being performed by an experienced and skilled specialist.
Major surgery is not your only option. If you don’t wish to have a hysterectomy, a UFE treatment can offer you relief from uterine fibroids without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. We understand this can be a confusing time, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Our staff is ready to help, take our quiz to learn if you are eligible for UFE. If you want medical expertise you can trust, and a facility designed with your safety and comfort in mind, let us help you get started with your UFE procedure.