Fairfax Radiological Consultants

To Schedule an Appointment Call:
703.698.4488

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

A minimally invasive procedure where a tiny nick is made in the groin area or wrist. Using a specialized X-ray, a catheter is guided through the uterine artery near the location of the fibroid. Then, embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter blocking the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink.

What are Fibroids?

Fibroids, also known as uterine fibroids or leiomyomas, are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus. They can be of varying size, from being as small as a quarter to, in some extreme cases, the size of a small melon. In rare cases, fibroids can even simulate the size of a full pregnancy. The good news is, fibroids are a very treatable condition.

Am I at Risk?

Since uterine fibroids are the most common tumors within the female reproductive system, all women are at potential risk for developing them. The majority of uterine fibroids are diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 54. However, fibroids can occur in women younger than 35, and occasionally they can remain symptomatic in post menopausal women.

What are my treatment options?

Numerous treatment options exist for fibroids. These range from conservative to invasive. At Fairfax Vascular Center, we feel that our patients should be informed of all treatment options. Understanding what is available, the risks and benefits will enable you to make the correct choice for your own symptoms and lifestyle.

Chart comparing UFE vs. Hysterectomy

Interested in talking to one of our physicians about UFE?
We'll walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

Am I a candidate for UFE?

 

Some patients are unsure if UFE is the right procedure choice.  Consider the following questions below to help determine if this might be the right procedure for your health goals:

Am I a Candidate for UFE Checklist

If you checked THREE or more boxes, then uterine fibriod embolization may be the right treatment option for you. Contact us today to learn more about how UFE fits into your health journey.

Why should I choose UFE and how effective is it?

 

Not infrequently, patients are seen in consultation for UFE after having suffered a prolonged period of time because they were told they had no options, or provided a misconceived summary of uterine fibroid embolization. Your interventional radiologist is the most knowledgeable person to ask regarding the procedure, its details, and its outcomes.

  • UFE is the ONLY non-surgical option treating all fibroids in one session with outcomes of patient satisfaction matching those of hysterectomy -- 90% of women were satisfied with their quality of life on follow up. 
  • Greater than 90% reduction in symptoms of pelvic pain, pressure, urinary urgency symptoms (bulk symptoms).
  • Greater than 90% reduction in symptoms of abnormal bleeding.
  • Significant improvement in quality of life, quality of intimacy and severity of symptoms.
  • Preservation of the uterus, without scars.
  • Outpatient procedure with minimal blood loss and overall less major complications and length of hospital stay compared with hysterectomy.

 

Watch the video below to learn about UFE treatment

Why Choose Fairfax Vascular Center?

 

Over 100 years of combined clinical experience.

We are one of the largest, longest standing interventional radiology practices with over 100 years of combined clinical experience.  We have been performing uterine fibroid embolization and specializing in its care since the introduction of the procedure.

 
Specialize in uterine fibroid embolization.

We offer multiple approaches to performing the procedure both from the radial artery (wrist) and femoral artery (groin), as well as advanced pain control techniques such as a superior hypogastric nerve block.

 
Dedicated to helping you through your treatment journey.

Our physicians are available 24/7 to ensure you are well taken care of from the time of consultation through your treatment and follow up. Additionally, a dedicated navigator will help you throughout your fibroid treatment journey.

 
State of the art imaging with subspecialty trained physicians.

We are part of Fairfax Radiological Consultants, the largest and oldest diagnostic radiology group in Northern Virginia, allowing us to provide our patients with the best imaging technologies and the most experienced diagnostic radiologists with subspecialty training in women’s imaging.

 
Team approach to care.

We strongly believe in a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care and it is due to the involvement of our diagnostic radiologists as well as referring obstetricians and gynecologists that we are able to provide excellent care and results.

Learn more about Fibroids and your treatment options

  • What does the research say about fibroid statistics?

    Studies demonstrate the prevalence of fibroids in 20-40% of women older than 35 years of age,1 based on imaging and clinical evaluation

    On surgical evaluation, fibroids are seen in nearly 70-80% of patients.

    Evidence suggests that African-American women are three times more likely to develop uterine fibroids2-4 than other women, with an earlier age of onset.5

    Most clinicians believe fibroids shrink when a woman goes through menopause.

     

    REFERENCES:

    1. Wallach EE. Myomectomy. In: Thompson JD, Rock JA, eds. Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 7th ed. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1992; pp 647-662.
    2. Baird DD, Dunson DB, Hill MC, Cousins D, Schectman JM. High cumulative incidence of uterine leiomyoma in black and white women: Ultrasound evidence. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188:100–107.
    3. Marshall LM, Spiegelman D, Barbieri RL, et al. Variation in the incidence of uterine leiomyoma among premenopausal women by age and race. Obstet Gynecol. 1997;90:967–973.
    4. Wise LA, Palmer JR, Stewart EA, Rosenberg L. Age-specific incidence rates for self-reported uterine leiomyomata in the Black Women’s Health Study. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;105: 563–568.
    5. Huyck KL, Panhuysen CI, Cuenco KT, et al. The impact of race as a risk factor for symptom severity and age at diagnosis of uterine leiomyomata among affected sisters. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008;198:168 e161–169.
  • How do you diagnose fibroids?

    Many times the patient’s age and symptoms often provide strong clues to the clinical diagnosis of fibroids. Initial evaluation is often pursued with pelvic/transabdominal ultrasound. While this form of imaging is great at looking for fibroids, it can miss certain types and sizes of fibroids and is dependant both on the equipment and the person performing it.

    For the purposes of diagnosis, your interventional radiologist will order an MRI (possibly with the addition of pictures to look at the blood vessels). The advantages of having an MRI versus and ultrasound are akin to looking at something in color under high definition as opposed to in black and white under standard definition.

    In addition, MRIs allow you to evaluate the pelvis not just for fibroids but for other potential causes of symptoms like adenomyosis, endometriosis, varicose pelvic veins causing discomfort (pelvic congestion syndrome) and compression of the leg veins resulting in pelvic/limb discomfort (May-thurner syndrome). They will allow for a consistent comparison of the size and location of your fibroids both before and after treatment. Interventional radiologists have the expertise to interpret these images and evaluate for these other often missed sources of pelvic pain.

  • Symptoms of Fibriods

    Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
    Heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the most common symptoms associated with uterine fibroid tumors. It is the most prevalent symptom for two of the four types of uterine fibroid tumors: intramural and submucosal. Over time, excessive menstrual bleeding can lead to fatigue and anemia, which is a result of low red blood cell count. If left untreated, excessive menstrual bleeding can eventually lead to the need for blood transfusions.

    Pelvic Pain and Pressure
    As fibroids grow, they can put additional pressure on the surrounding organs, which can be extremely painful. The growth of the fibroids can cause consistent lower abdominal pain, as well as swelling which is sometimes mistaken for as weight gain or pregnancy. If you are experiencing pelvic pain or pressure or any other type of uterine fibroid symptoms, a full gynecological exam should be done immediately to determine the cause.

    Urinary Incontinence or Frequent Urination
    One of the organs commonly affected during the growth of fibroid tumors is the bladder. As added pressure is applied to this organ, the risk of urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) occurs, as well as frequent urination.

    Other Symptoms
    Other common symptoms include anemia, pain in the back of the legs, pain during sexual intercourse, constipation, and an enlarged abdomen.

  • Types of Fibroids

     

    Fibroid Types

    Intramural
    The most common type of fibroids, intramural fibroid tumors, typically develop within the uterine wall and expand from there. When an intramural fibroid tumor expands, it tends to make the uterus feel larger than normal, which can sometimes be mistaken for pregnancy or weight gain. This type of fibroid tumor can also cause “bulk symptoms” which include excessive menstrual bleeding that may cause prolonged menstrual cycles and clot passing, and pelvic pain that is caused by the additional pressure placed on surrounding organs by the growth of the fibroid.

    Subserosal
    Subserosal fibroids typically develop on the outer uterine wall. This type of fibroid tumor can continue to grow outward and increase in size. The growth of a subserosal fibroid tumor will put additional pressure on the surrounding organs, causing pelvic pain and pressure, and tend not to interfere with a women’s typical menstrual flow. Depending on the severity of the location of the fibroids, other complications may accompany pain and pressure such as bloating, indigestion, constipation, and frequent urination.

    Submucosal
    These fibroids develop under the lining of the uterine cavity. Large submucosal fibroid tumors may increase the size of the uterus cavity and can block the fallopian tubes, which can cause complications with fertility. Associated symptoms with submucosal fibroids include very heavy, excessive menstrual bleeding and prolonged menstruation. These symptoms can also cause the passing of clots and frequent soiling accidents. Untreated, prolonged or excessive bleeding can cause more complicated problems such as anemia and/or fatigue, which could potentially lead to a future need for blood transfusions.

    Pedunculated
    This type of uterine fibroid occurs when a fibroid tumor grows on a stalk, resulting in pedunculated submucosal or subserosal fibroids. These fibroids can grow into the uterus and/or outside of the uterine wall. Symptoms associated with pedunculated fibroid tumors include pain and pressure as the fibroid may sometimes twist on the stalk.

Common Questions

  • Why would my physician recommend UFE?

    Your physician may recommend UFE if you have fibroids and you experience abnormal menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, abdominal distortion, frequent urination, constipation or bloating or painful intercourse. It is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy or myomectomy.

  • How does UFE work?

    During this procedure, a tiny nick is made in the groin area or wrist. Using a specialized X-ray, a catheter is guided through the uterine artery near the location of the fibroid. Then, embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter blocking the blood flow to the fibroids causing them to shrink.

  • What do I need to do before a UFE procedure?

    You will be given detailed instructions by our staff before your procedure. In general, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. This includes breath mints, gum and tobacco. Patients should notify staff if they are diabetic, taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or allergic to anesthesia. Be sure to bring your insurance card, photo ID and list of current medications (dose and frequency).

  • What should I expect during a UFE procedure?

    During the procedure, your vital signs will be monitored. You will receive a sedative or anesthesia. In addition, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as anti-nausea and pain medications. A small nick is made where the catheter will be inserted and that area will be sterilized and numbed. Using an imaging device, the catheter is guided near the fibroids. An embolic material (particles) is injected through the catheter to block the blood flow to the fibroids. The catheter is then removed, pressure is applied to the incision area and it is covered with a bandage.

  • What will I feel during a UFE procedure?

    You may feel a slight sting when the needle is inserted for the IV line and the anesthesia. You will feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. You may feel some pressure when the catheter is inserted, but will not have serious pain.

  • What should I expect after a UFE procedure?

    You may be on bedrest for about two to four hours after the procedure. Be sure to arrange a ride home from the procedure. You may experience heavy pelvic cramping the first 6-12 hours after UFE. You may experience intermittent pain and fatigue during the first 2-3 days after UFE. If you have small children, you should arrange to have help for the first few days. You should be back to normal activities in 7-10 days.

  • How do I schedule a UFE procedure with Fairfax Vascular Center?

    You should first schedule a consultation with our physicians to discuss the procedure and to determine if you are a good candidate. You can schedule an appointment by calling 703.698.4475 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

  • When are appointments offered for UFE procedures?

    Appointments are available at Fairfax Vascular Center Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. Click on the link for more information about this location.

Meet Our Physicians

Paul Reha Butros, M.D.

Paul Reha Butros, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

Baskent University School of Medicine
Completed 2005

Residency

Detroit Medical Center - Wayne State University
Completed 2012

Fellowship

Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Completed 2014

Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute
Completed 2015

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology - Diplomate
2012

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Radiology
American Medical Association
American Roentgen Ray Society
Medical Society of Virginia
Radiology Society of North America
Society of Interventional Radiology

Alain T. Drooz, M.D.

Alain T. Drooz, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

University of North Carolina

Residency

New York University Medical Center
Completed 1988

Fellowship

New York University Medical Center
Body Imaging
Completed 1989

New York University Medical Center
Interventional Radiology
Completed 1990

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
1989

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Radiology
Radiological Society of North America
Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology
Society of Vascular Medicine and Biology - Fellow
Fairfax County Medical Society

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

Allen E. Joseph, M.D.

Allen E. Joseph, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Body Imaging
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

Boston University School of Medicine
Completed 1984

Residency

Northwestern University Hospitals
Diagnostic Radiology
Completed 1989

Fellowship

Northwestern University Hospitals
Angiography, Visceral Imaging and Interventional Radiology
Completed 1990

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology, 1989
Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 1998

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Roentgen Ray Society
Radiological Society of North America
American College of Radiology
Society of Cardiovascular and
Interventional Radiology
American Medical Association
Fairfax County Medical Society
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology 
Society

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine

Michael G. Karnaze, M.D.

Michael G. Karnaze, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

University of Kansas School of Medicine
Completed 1982

Residency

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Completed 1987

Fellowship

Alexandria Hospital
Interventional Radiology
Completed 1988

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Diagnostic Radiology 1987
Interventional Radiology 1995

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology Society (President 1996)
American Heart Association
American College of Radiology
Radiology Society of North America
American Roentgen Ray Society

Accolades

Top Doctor 
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

Hong Lim, M.D.

Hong Lim, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

University of Medicine & Dentistry
Completed 2001

Residency

University of Medicine & Dentistry
Completed 2006

Fellowship

Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute
Completed 2008

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
2006

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Radiological Society of North America
American College of Radiology
Society of Interventional Radiology

Salman S. Mufti, M.D.

Salman S. Mufti, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Completed 1994

Residency

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Completed 2003

Fellowship

Brown University
Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Completed 2004

Board Certification

American College of Radiology 
2003

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Radiology
Society for Interventional Radiology

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine

David J. Spinosa, M.D.

David J. Spinosa, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

Tufts University School of Medicine
Completed 1984

Residency

Georgetown University Hospital
Radiology
Completed 1992

New England Deaconess Hospital
Surgery
Completed 1987

Fellowship

University of Virginia
Angiography and Interventional Radiology
Completed 1993

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Radiology - 1992
Angiography and Interventional Radiology - 1995

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Society of Interventional Radiologists
American College of Radiology

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

Mustafa M. Syed, D.O.

Mustafa M. Syed, D.O.

Diagnostic Radiology
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

Completed 2011

Residency

Mount Sinai West Hospital Center 

Completed 2016

Fellowship

Mount Sinai Hospital, Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Completed 2017

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology, 2017

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Radiological Society of North America

American College of Radiology

American Board of Radiology

Society of Interventional Radiology

 

 

Jay D. Varma, M.D.

Jay D. Varma, M.D.

Diagnostic Radiology
Ultrasound
Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Joined Practice:
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Medical School

University of Maryland
Completed 1996

Residency

Boston University Medical Center
Completed 2001

Fellowship

Harvard Medical School
Completed 2002

Board Certification

American Board of Radiology
Radiology - 2001
Interventional Radiology - 2003

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Cardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe
Chesapeake Interventional Radiology Society 
Medical Society of the District of Columbia
Society of Interventional Radiology
American Roentgen Ray Society
Radiological Society of North America

Accolades

Top Doctor
Washingtonian Magazine
Northern Virginia Magazine

Available at the following location

Fairfax Vascular Center

Fairfax Vascular Center

8505 Arlington Boulevard
Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22031
United States

Tel
703.698.4475
Fax
703.573.4237

Request a Telephone Consultation

Please provide the following information and one of our physicians or experienced staff members will call you back shortly.

If you need an immediate appointment, please call 703-698-4488.